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Da Nang hotel causes stir for refusing service to Chinese tourists over new coronavirus fear

Monday, January 27, 2020, 12:31 GMT+7
Da Nang hotel causes stir for refusing service to Chinese tourists over new coronavirus fear
A file photo shows tourists at Da Nang International Airport in Da Nang, Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre/ Truong Trung

A hotel in Da Nang has recently become a topic of debate after it denied Chinese tourists service for fear of a new coronavirus epidemic that has been hitting Wuhan City in China very hard.

The debate erupted on Friday when the hotel on Tran Hung Dao Street in Son Tra District refused to welcome Chinese guests, canceling bookings by a group of Chinese and refunding them when they came to check in.

Those Chinese visitors had made a reservation up to two months in advance.

The establishment owner explained that the service denial was to “ensure safety for staff and other guests who are staying in the hotel” amid the ongoing epidemic of a novel coronavirus from China.

A pneumonia outbreak, caused by a new strain of the coronavirus family that caused SARS and MERS, first surfaced in Wuhan City in December 2019.

The virus has killed at least 80 and infected more than 2,700 people in China while spreading to the U.S., France, Australia, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, and others.

A photo surfaced on social media showed the hotel’s announcement in Vietnamese that reads, “We do not welcome guests from China during this time because your country has the corona disease which is spreading. We will make an announcement when we are ready to serve tourists from China again. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience. Thank you for your cooperation.”

A photo surfaced over the Internet showing the hotel's announcement of not receiving tourists from China

A photo has surfaced over the Internet of the hotel's announcement on not receiving tourists from China.

After being informed of the announcement, local authorities on Friday night came to convinced the hotelier to remove it, as well as adhering to the Chinese tourists’ bookings.

However, the hotelier disagreed, saying that if they receive guests infected with the new coronavirus, the place could be blocked and their business would be affected.

At the moment, the hotel still does not receive Chinses tourists, including groups which have made a reservation one or two months in advance.

It has also shared the announcement on social media, receiving mixed comments.

Some labeled the hotel’s act “discrimination," as those Chinese tourists had booked their stay one to two months in advance and they came in normal health conditions.

Others supported the hotel’s refusing service to guests from high-risk areas at this time, calling it “self-defense.”

In Vietnam, 39 patients are being isolated and under observation for the new coronavirus, including 13 in the northern region, two in the southern region, and 24 in the central region.

There is currently no Vietnamese citizen infected with the disease, Dang Quang Tan, deputy head of the Department of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry of Health, confirmed at a Sunday conference regarding the new coronavirus epidemic.

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