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Mekong Delta firm evades testing rule, becomes Covid-19 cluster

By Cuu Long   November 7, 2021 | 02:44 am PT
Mekong Delta firm evades testing rule, becomes Covid-19 cluster
Tan Khoi Seafood Import-Export Company in Gia Rai Town of Bac Lieu Province. Photo by VnExpress/An Binh
A seafood firm in Bac Lieu Province has ended up with 650 staff contracting Covid-19 after ignoring periodical testing rule.

According to investigators, on Oct. 19, a 16-year-old female worker of the Tan Khoi Seafood Import-Export Company in Gia Rai Town tested positive for the new coronavirus while taking a family member to the Gia Rai medical center for a health check. She was tested as per the entry regulation of the center.

She had gone to work at the company every day for at least for 14 days before she was found positive, and during this period, the company did not run any new coronavirus test on employees as regulated.

Through contact tracing of all related people, the health sector found many more Covid-19 cases among other workers of the company.

Until now, at least 650 employees of the seafood firm have been confirmed with Covid-19, as also 200 others related to them. Tan Khoi company has 700 permanent workers and about 200 seasonal workers.

250 of the infected people have recovered and been discharged from treatment facilities.

"The rule says all companies must test at least 20 percent of their staff randomly every week. Tan Khoi company had did so three times; and then stopped following the rule for several weeks," said a local official.

Recently, as the outbreak has grown bigger in Bac Lieu, the regulation has been changed to testing all staff every week, said Huynh Van Dung, director of Gia Rai medical center.

Colonel Le Viet Thang, director of Bac Lieu’s Police Department, said the company has violated the testing rule and faces administrative sanctions.

In the latest Covid-19 wave that hit Vietnam late April, Gia Rai Town has registered 1,500 cases, making it the most infected locality in Bac Lieu.

With 5,260 cases recorded so far in the wave, Bac Lieu has recently emerged as a Covid-19 hotspot in the Mekong Delta. Forty people have lost their lives and 1,460 have recovered from the disease.

In the past month, the number of cases have soared in the province, many of them without clear infection sources.

On Tuesday, the province raised its pandemic risk level from medium to very high.

With a population of 900,000, Bac Lieu currently has a vaccination rate of 23.1 percent.

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