Four Chinese escaping from Covid-19 enter Vietnam illegally

By Vo Thanh   March 5, 2020 | 07:00 am PT
Four Chinese escaping from Covid-19 enter Vietnam illegally
The Thua Thien-Hue Military School where four Chinese who entered Vietnam illegally are quarantined, March 5, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Vo Thanh.
Four Chinese who illegally entered the country in a bid to escape the Covid-19 outbreak are quarantined at a Thua Thien-Hue military school.

Authorities in the central province confirmed Thursday that the four persons, whose identities have not been revealed, entered Vietnam illegally to avoid the novel coronavirus that has killed more than 3,000 people in China.

Nguyen Dinh Bach, a Thua Thien-Hue official, said the Chinese nationals confessed that they had crossed the border into Quang Ninh Province before renting a car to go to the central city of Da Nang.

The four, along with two Vietnamese drivers, were found Wednesday night on a bus in Phu Thuong Commune, Phu Vang District. Three of the Chinese nationals did not have passports, while one had a passport that was not stamped, local police said.

Medical checks by Phu Vang authorities have shown that the four illegal immigrants are in good health, but, under current safety protocols, they and the two Vietnamese with them were quarantined the same night in the provincial military school in Thuy Bang Commune.

Thua Thien-Hue police are seeking opinions from the Immigration Department under the Ministry of Public Security for options to send the Chinese back. They could be sent back either after they have been quarantined for 14 days, or tested negative for the Covid-19 virus as per established protocol.

Under Vietnam’s current regulations, anyone entering the country from mainland China, Italy, Iran and South Korea have to be quarantined for at least 14 days. The four countries are currently the worst-hit by the novel coronavirus outbreaks.

All of Vietnam’s 16 Covid-19 infections so far have been successfully treated and the patients discharged. The country has recorded no new infection since February 13.

However, the novel coronavirus has spread to 87 countries and territories, killing 3,308 people, mostly in mainland China, followed by Italy (107), Iran (92) and South Korea (40).

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