Hai Duong woman faces criminal charge for flouting pandemic rules, spreading infection

By Giang Chinh, Hoang Phong    February 23, 2021 | 12:00 am PT
Hai Duong woman faces criminal charge for flouting pandemic rules, spreading infection
Police officers guard a Covid-19 checkpoint in Hai Duong Province, February 15, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.
Authorities in Hai Duong Province, a coronavirus hotspot, launched a criminal investigation against a woman who failed to comply with pandemic prevention measures, leading to three other infections.

The woman, a resident of provincial capital Hai Duong Town, and confirmed infected with the coronavirus on Feb. 15, is being probed for "spreading dangerous infectious diseases to human," police told press Monday.

She developed a fever, cough and grew tired on Feb. 3, but still traveled across town, coming in contact with many people en route. On Feb. 8, she visited the provincial Center for Disease Control to be tested for Covid-19.

On Feb. 11, health authorities confirmed her to be a suspected infectee. She had her samples taken for a second test on Feb. 14 and was confirmed infected a day later.

Police said the patient "didn't declare her specific travel schedule nor information on those whom she had been in close contact with," inhibiting contact tracing and timely prevention measures.

As a result, three of her family members were also diagnosed with the coronavirus, Vietnam News Agency reported.

She was the third person to be placed under criminal investigation for spreading the virus since Covid-19 broke out in Vietnam in January 2020. The first was a Vietnam Airlines flight attendant who allegedly breached Covid-19 quarantine protocols last December and infected three others and the second a Vinh Long man infected with the coronavirus who had illegally entered the country in January. Earlier, people flouting Covid-19 prevention regulations were let off with mere fines.

Since Jan. 28, when community transmissions returned to the nation after almost two months, Vietnam has recorded 803 cases, with Hai Duong accounting for the majority at 620.

All of Hai Duong is undergoing social distancing for 15 days starting Feb. 16 as per a government directive on Covid-19 prevention.

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