UPDATE: March 27 from Taylor Edgar in Hanoi

An airline pilot two who lives two streets away has been taken to hospital with suspected COVID19.

By mid-afternoon the local police were visiting businesses and ordering them to close. The only businesses that are open today are food shops and pharmacies.

So far there’s no official lockdown, but the streets are much quieter than normal. The government yesterday banned meetings or events involving over 20 people as the number of coronavirus cases continues to grow.

Any gathering of over 10 people outside public offices, schools, and hospitals is also prohibited. On a brighter note, three more people have fully recovered and been discharged from hospital in Da Nang today, including two Britons in their sixties.

However, they have been transferred to centralized quarantine centres for a further 14 days quarantine as a precaution despite testing negative in three tests.

The two Britons were among 16 people who tested positive on a Vietnam Airlines’ flight from London to Hanoi on March 8.

As of yesterday, the total number of COVID19 cases in Vietnam stood at 153, with a total of 20 having now been successfully treated and discharged. There has so far been no deaths attributed to COVID19.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has also ordered that local administrations nationwide should start closing non-essential services on Saturday such as massage parlours, discos, tourist sites, entertainment places, cinemas, beer parlours, and restaurants, as Vietnam steps up its fight against the virus.

Hanoi ordered the closure of these businesses on Wednesday.