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COVID-19 outbreak means early ‘bedtime’ for 'backpacker area' in central Vietnamese city

COVID-19 outbreak means early ‘bedtime’ for 'backpacker area' in central Vietnamese city

Thursday, March 12, 2020, 15:17 GMT+7
COVID-19 outbreak means early ‘bedtime’ for 'backpacker area' in central Vietnamese city
A cyclo driver pedals through an empty street in the ‘backpacker zone’ in Hue, the capital city of the central province of Thua Thien-Hue, Vietnam, March 11, 2020. Photo: Phuoc Tuan / Tuoi Tre

Businesses in the ‘backpacker area,' which is a pedestrian zone in Hue, the capital city of Thua Thien-Hue Province in central Vietnam, are being dealt a serious blow after local authorities required shops, restaurants, and bars to suspend operations and fumigate their premises. 

Hue’s backpacker area, which spans across Chu Van An Street, Pham Ngu Lao Street, and Vo Thi Sau Streets, had been bustling up until three days ago when a female British tourist who tested positive for the coronavirus in the city was confirmed as Vietnam’s 30th COVID-19 patient.

Since then, cafés, bars, souvenir shops, restaurants, and hotels have been closing as early as 8:00 pm to mitigate the number of potential COVID-19 carriers coming through their doors.  

Most Vietnamese chose to hunker down in their homes while the few businesses that did remain open were dominated by Western tourists, many of whom were required to have their temperatures checked before entry. 

According Pham Thi Tu Nga, deputy chief of the Office of Hue City People's Committee, local authorities are encouraging households and businesses to temporarily close and disinfect their premises.  

“Those households and businesses that choose to remain in operation must ask customers to wear face masks and regularly wash their hands with hand sanitizer,” Nga told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

Local authorities are continuing the disinfection of the backpacker area, particuarly near the hotel on Pham Ngu Lao Street where patient No. 30 had stayed and a restaurant on Vo Thi Sau Street that she had visited.

Below are some photos of Hue’s empty backpacker streets on Wednesday.

An empty street in Hue’s ‘backpacker zone’, March 11, 2020. Photo: Phuoc Tuan / Tuoi Tre

An empty street in Hue’s ‘backpacker zone,' March 11, 2020. Photo: Phuoc Tuan / Tuoi Tre

An empty street in Hue’s ‘backpacker zone’, March 11, 2020. Photo: Phuoc Tuan / Tuoi Tre

An empty street in Hue’s ‘backpacker zone,' March 11, 2020. Photo: Phuoc Tuan / Tuoi Tre

An attendant checks a foreinger’s body tempterature outside a restaurant in Hue, the capital city of the central province of Thua Thien-Hue, Vietnam, March 11, 2020. Photo: Phuoc Tuan / Tuoi Tre

An attendant checks a foreinger’s body tempterature outside a restaurant in Hue, the capital city of the central province of Thua Thien-Hue, Vietnam, March 11, 2020. Photo: Phuoc Tuan / Tuoi Tre

An empty street in Hue’s ‘backpacker zone’, March 11, 2020. Photo: Phuoc Tuan / Tuoi Tre

An empty street in Hue’s ‘backpacker zone,' March 11, 2020. Photo: Phuoc Tuan / Tuoi Tre

A visitor makes use of hand sanitizer tied to a street light in Hue, the capital city of the central province of Thua Thien-Hue, Vietnam, March 11, 2020. Photo: Phuoc Tuan / Tuoi Tre

A visitor makes use of hand sanitizer tied to a street light pole in Hue, the capital city of the central province of Thua Thien-Hue, Vietnam, March 11, 2020. Photo: Phuoc Tuan / Tuoi Tre

A circular announcing the temporary business closures posted on a fence outside a restaurant in Hue, the capital city of the central province of Thua Thien-Hue, Vietnam, March 11, 2020. Photo: Phuoc Tuan / Tuoi Tre

A circular announcing the temporary business closures posted on a fence outside a restaurant in Hue, the capital city of the central province of Thua Thien-Hue, Vietnam, March 11, 2020. Photo: Phuoc Tuan / Tuoi Tre

An empty street in Hue’s ‘backpacker zone’, March 11, 2020. Photo: Phuoc Tuan / Tuoi Tre

An empty street in Hue’s ‘backpacker zone,' March 11, 2020. Photo: Phuoc Tuan / Tuoi Tre

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