HCMC religious mission faces criminal charge for spreading Covid-19

By Quoc Thang   May 30, 2021 | 01:27 am PT
HCMC religious mission faces criminal charge for spreading Covid-19
The Revival Ekklesia Mission headquarters in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.
Police in HCMC's Go Vap District launched Sunday morning a criminal investigation into the Revival Ekklesia Mission, a Christian congregation that has become a Covid-19 hotspot.

HCMC has recorded 126 patients linked to the mission's cluster since Wednesday.

Preliminary investigations have determined that this group did not comply with Covid-19 preventive measures, leading to many people getting infected.

According to the Ho Chi Minh City Center for Disease Control (HCDC), people related to the Revival Ekklesia Mission had a very high risk of infection because members gathered in a small, poorly ventilated space and did not wear face masks.

Several days ago, when the first cases were detected at the religious mission, the city leaders asked the police to investigate how it happened and whether there was any wrongdoing.

As of this morning, the chain of infections related to the mission is the largest in the city. The Ministry of Health has confirmed 94 of the 126 cases, with the remaining still to be assigned patient numbers and officially considered suspects.

Gene sequencing analysis shows five patients of the mission carry Indian Covid-19 strain.

The health sector has traced tens of thousands of first and second generation infections linked to this cluster. Many places in the city were isolated to curb the spread of the virus. For instance, 700 workers of a company at the Tan Binh Industrial Park had to be quarantined on its premises after contact tracing of a Covid-19 patient who works at the canteen.

Currently, the sources of infection for this cluster have not been identified yet. The city is contact tracing and pool testing from 50,000 people living around the headquarters of the Christian mission in Go Vap District.

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