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Da Lat-China flights cut off because of Wuhan coronavirus

Friday, January 31, 2020, 16:18 GMT+7
Da Lat-China flights cut off because of Wuhan coronavirus
Lien Khuong Airport in Da Lat has ceased taking flights from China. Photo: Mai Vinh / Tuoi Tre

Flights connecting Da Lat to mainland China have been canceled to bar novel coronavirus transmission.

A Qingdao Airlines plane took off at Lien Khuong Airport in Da Lat, a famous resort town in Vietnam’s Central Highlands, at 2:50 am on Thursday to bring 175 Chinese tourists back to China, Nguyen Thi Hong Phuong, director of the airdrome, said on Friday.

These visitors hail from Gansu, a province in north-central China.

The plane operated by the Chinese carrier had landed empty at Lien Khuong to pick up the Chinese passengers.

Qingdao Airlines has announced the suspension of its flights to Lien Khuong from February 1 to 9, Phuong said.

Lien Khuong used to host flights to the Chinese city of Wuhan – the core of an ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak that has infected almost 10,000 people and killed 213 others in China since it was first reported in December – but they were ceased on December 20, 2018.

Da Lat has stopped taking in Chinese tourists by plane since Thursday morning, given the departure of the 175 passengers.

Thermometers have been installed at Lien Khuong to measure the body temperature of arrivials but no suspected case has been detected at the airport so far.

All tourists who had visited Da Lat by plane have already left the city, according to the People’s Committee of Lam Dong Province, of which Da Lat is the capital.

Local authorities are pooling data on the number of tourists coming to Da Lat by road from Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang in south-central Khanh Hoa Province, and Phan Thiet in south-central Binh Thuan Province.

Vietnam has reported five postive cases so far, including three Vietnamese and two Chinese patients, with one of the Chinese having been cured.

Symptoms of a new coronavirus infection can include fever, cough, and shortness of breath, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Steps to prevent the viral spread include wearing a face mask, covering one’s coughs and sneezes, washing their hands, and avoiding sharing household items.

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