Last illegal entrant from coronavirus-infected group found

By Le Phuong, Cuu Long   January 1, 2021 | 12:44 pm GMT+7
Last illegal entrant from coronavirus-infected group found
A medical staff conducts Covid-19 tests on human samples in the central province of Nghe An in April 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Van Hai.
The last of the nine people who entered Vietnam illegally last week, some with Covid-19, and their smuggler have been tracked down.

The illegal entrant, a woman living in an apartment in HCMC's Tan Phu District, was found by city authorities on Thursday night. She tested negative for the novel coronavirus.

The woman and 23 people who were in close contact with her have been quarantined, but all have tested negative, Nguyen Tri Dung, director of the HCMC Center for Disease Control, said.

Also on Thursday night Phan Thanh Hung, 39, who is suspected to run a human smuggling gang operating between Cambodia and Vietnam, was arrested while hiding in Binh Duong Province, said Lam Thanh Sol, deputy director of An Giang Province's Police Department.

The nine, all Vietnamese nationals, illegally crossed into An Giang from Cambodia on December 24.

The whole thing came to light after the mother of one of them, a 32-year-old man, dubbed ‘patient 1440,’ reported him to the authorities for quarantining when he visited her in Vinh Long Province.

Of the nine, four have tested positive for the virus and four others are in quarantine after reporting to authorities or being tracked down.

They had traveled from Myanmar to Thailand by truck on December 15 and stayed there until leaving for Cambodia on December 23. They paid people smugglers to sneak across borders to avoid quarantining.

"After knowing that the police were hunting for those who enabled "patient 1440" to illegally enter [the country], Hung escaped to Binh Duong," Sol said, adding that he has been quarantined and tested.

Once his quarantine period is over, authorities will investigate his activities further.

Phan Thanh Hung, 39, is arrested in An Giang Province as a suspected mastermind of a human smuggling ring from Cambodia in to Vietnam, December 31, 2020. Photo courtesy of the police.

Phan Thanh Hung, 39, is arrested in An Giang Province as a suspected mastermind of a human smuggling ring from Cambodia in to Vietnam, December 31, 2020. Photo courtesy of the police.

Four of his henchmen have also been identified by the police.

Vietnam has had 1,465 Covid-19 cases so far, 102 still active and 35 people dead.

No local transmission has been recorded for around a month.

 
 
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