HCMC hunts missing illegal entrant from Covid-19 infected group

By Le Phuong   December 31, 2020 | 05:54 am PT
HCMC hunts missing illegal entrant from Covid-19 infected group
A medical worker disinfects an alley in HCMC's District 9 after a man, part of a group who illegally entered Vietnam from Cambodia, tested positive for the novel coronavirus, December 29, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Dinh Van.
HCMC authorities are still looking for a woman who was with a group of Covid-19 patients that illegally entered Vietnam last week.

The unidentified woman could have traveled to HCMC’s Tan Phu District, Nguyen Tri Dung, director of the HCMC Center for Disease Control (CDC), said Thursday.

The woman is one of nine illegal entrants who entered An Giang Province from Cambodia on December 24 through the land border. The group’s activities came to light after the mother of one of them, a 32-year-old man, reported him to the authorities for quarantining when he visited her in Vinh Long Province.

Of the group, all Vietnamese nationals, four have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, and four others are in quarantine after reporting themselves to or being tracked down by authorities. They had traveled from Myanmar to Thailand by truck on December 15 and stayed there until December 22 before leaving for Cambodia on December 23.

They paid people smugglers to sneak through borders into Vietnam, without reporting to border guards to be quarantined upon entry.

The HCMC CDC has since called for all illegal entrants to report themselves and get tested for the sake of the community at large.

"The Covid-19 outbreak from July to September in Da Nang City is a testament to the danger posed by unchecked community transmissions. If the same thing happens in HCMC, Vietnam’s most populated locality and its economic spearhead, the consequences would be unpredictable," Dung said.

Vietnam has recorded 1,465 Covid-19 cases so far, with 102 still active and 35 dead. No community transmission has been recorded nationally for about a month.

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