As the GM of an island resort an hour south of Hoi An, I can’t comment on what is happening there. All I can say is that if Hoi An is taking the same measures to protect it's people and it's visitors as the government are doing here, I’d have complete confidence in saying come visit -in fact, no one else is right now so the awful over-tourism problem that made me dislike Hoi An is over. Hotels are so desperate for your company that they are offering stays of well below cost rate (on average 60% off, so aim high on the star rating, spend well on F&B). By the way, should you work out the island resort I'm writing from - we are not discounting. Instead, we are investing in keeping everyone safe - staff, islanders and guests. It's expensive. We don't want to host your germs!
Yesterday, I sat through a five hour meeting held by the Quang Nam government, military and health ministry. In the rural area where I am based the focus is on hospitals, schools and then hotels and local businesses.
There are no cases of the virus in central Vietnam. Countrywide we have 16 confirmed cases. 7 recoveries. No deaths. Countrywide, the area of concern is in northern Vietnam. A non-touristy spot called Vinh Phuc that the government are on, and have already quarantined.
Australia have 15 cases.
The meeting I attended was open to all the local villagers, hospital staff and schools. It was highly professional, offered aid to those who needed it and the advice given was based on standards set by WHO.
There was no drama, no media tomfoolery. Just a presentation of the facts already known internationally about the virus and the things we can do as a community to protect ourselves.
On the island, the virus would be disastrous. The government have already researched and acknowledged areas that would struggle should a single infection take place.
Tomorrow, the army will spray WHO recommended antiseptic spray to the hospitals, schools and our resort (to date, our schools have remained open, but closely monitored for any families that have travelled off the island).
The government intends to work with the military to carry out two antiseptic sprays of all local premises per week and to supply everyone with the appropriate hand wash, face masks and education to prevent the spread of disease and virus.
I feel safe (and I am surprised that I do. I trust no one), I feel confident that our local government are both prepared for and already actioning counteractive procedures against an outbreak.
From a personal and local perspective. Our island staff were so afraid before the government stepped in that they refused to work if we had any guests. They were terrified that our guests would infect them. We chose to cancel all our guests and shut down for as long as it took to deal with that.
Our mainly female staff have young families, new babies; they live with three or four generations of a family - including the weak and elderly grand and great grandparents.
They are far more scared (and rightly so) of transmission than any of our guests. Please remember that.
Right now I'm booked to stay at Little Town Villas the week of November 18. I know no one can predict the weather, but in terms of location what are thoughts on my current location versus maybe moving somewhere else? Any/all advice is more than appreciated! Autumn