The biennial event would be delayed until August if the epidemic remains out of control, confirmed Le Truong Luu, party chief of Thua Thien-Hue Province in central Vietnam, home to the former imperial city of Hue, where the festival has been held on 10 occasions.

In case the epidemic continues to spread, the province might move the 11th festival to next year.

“The province’s administration would make the final call,” said Luu.

As previously planned, the 11th Hue Festival will last from April 1 to 6 with a series of programs including street carnivals, ao dai (Vietnam’s traditional dress) shows, international food festivals and many art performances.

Besides, over 20 troops from the Republic of Korea, Japan, Israel, Singapore, the Philippines, China, France, Belgium, Russia, Italy, Denmark, Hungary, the U.S., Mexico, and Austria will participate in the event.

Hue, capital of Thua Thien-Hue Province, stands out from other parts of the country with its imperial citadel and royal tombs.

Thua Thien-Hue received over 4.8 million visitors last year, with 2.1 million being foreigners.

As a preventive measure against COVID-19 caused by the coronavirus, the weekend pedestrian zone in Hue has been closed since February 7 to avoid large crowds from gathering. It has not been announced when it would be reopened.

Vietnam announced COVID-19 an epidemic in Vietnam on February 1.

The nation so far has confirmed 16 infections, with 11 patients discharged from hospital after doctors declared them free of the virus.

No medical staff has been infected during the treatment process. WHO stated Saturday that Vietnam has responded well to the epidemic from the very outset, preventing its spread.

As of February 18, the global death toll had climbed to 1,874, with just five outside China, and confirmed infections topped 73,336. Nearly 13,000 patients have recovered.