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Coronavirus

On the ground in Vietnam's new COVID epicenter of Danang

Nation's early success slips away as coastal city becomes new hot spot

My Khe beach promenade in the Vietnamese resort city of Danang is deserted. (Photo by Hugh Bohane)

DANANG, Vietnam -- Just weeks ago, things were looking up for residents of the Vietnamese coastal city of Danang. Their country was winning rave reviews globally for effectively handling the coronavirus pandemic, keeping infections low and being one of the few places hit to have avoided any deaths.

Optimism was in the air. The local economy was gazing ahead to the eventual return of the foreign tourists who once flocked to its scenic beaches fronting the South China Sea. And more broadly, Vietnam itself was planning to pick up the pieces from the economic effects of the virus, with hopes pinned on an increased investment from companies seeking a safe haven from the U.S.-China trade conflict.

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