Tourists stranded in Da Nang following outbreak flown to Hanoi hinh anh 1Passengers on special flight from Da Nang to Hanoi (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) -
The first two flights bringing more than 400 tourists stranded in central Da Nang city since the outbreak in late July safely arrived in Hanoi on August 12.

These are the first of the seven flights specially arranged to bring back nearly 1,500 tourists from 17 provinces and cities in the country to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City between August 12-14, after flights to and from the central city were grounded in late July as part of the city’s social distancing measures to battle the resurgence of COVID-19.

Thousands of Vietnamese flocked to the central coastal city, a popular resort town, in July for summer vacations, taking advantage of promotions in a push for domestic tourism after three months of no reported local transmissions of COVID-19.

Their vacations were cut short, however, in late July, as news broke over the first local infection found in the city with a currently unknown source, which marked the explosion of new cases and the country’s first COVID-19 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

All tourists coming to the airport must wear masks, face shields, gloves and many even wore full protective suits to avoid risks of the virus.

Security personnel and staff at Da Nang International Airport have helped tourists with procedures and ensured physical distancing.

The airplanes used during the flights, operated by flag carrier Vietnam Airlines and budget carrier Vietjet, will all be disinfected after landing.

All tourists will be quarantined on arrival, to prevent transmission in the community, as many returnees from Da Nang have been found to be infected with SARS-CoV-2.

Earlier this week, Hanoi-based military units have prepared two army barracks outside Hanoi to receive 1,000 tourists about to be brought back.

Me Linh COVID-19 treatment hospital had also prepared 200-250 beds, and could raise the capacity to even 1,000 on the orders of the city.

All tourists will be tested twice before being released from quarantine.

HCM City’s Department of Health, on the other hand, asked that all registered tourists be tested for coronavirus first before going on flights bringing them back to HCM City. They will still be quarantined on landing.

As scheduled, there will be two more flights on August 13, carrying a total of 828 passengers, including 799 Vietnamese and 29 foreigners, from Da Nang to Hanoi.

Meanwhile, 625 passengers will be flown to HCM City on three flights on August 13 and 14./.