Police nab two escapees from Covid-19 quarantine camps

By Phuoc Tuan   March 30, 2020 | 09:55 am GMT+7
Police nab two escapees from Covid-19 quarantine camps
A nurse walks at a Covid-19 quarantine camp in HCMC, March 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Nguyen.

Police in southern Vietnam arrested two men who had escaped from quarantine facilities in Kien Giang and Tay Ninh Provinces over the weekend.

Bui Ngoc Thuan, 27, from Kien Giang’s Ha Tien Town, is a hired worker in Cambodia. He was sent to a quarantine camp when he returned via the Ha Tien International Border Gate last Friday.

That night, he escaped the facility, took a taxi and a motorbike taxi ride back to see his and his wife’s families.

Authorities noticed and visited his house the next morning to convince him to cooperate with quarantine rules. But Thuan refused to listen and started throwing stuff from inside his house. He was later arrested by the police.

Thuan’s wife and his mother had also been sent to a quarantine camp.

Thuan initially acknowledged his misconduct but continued to protest Sunday afternoon, failing to comply with the rules, so he has been placed under close monitoring.

Local officials said Thuan and his relatives are in stable health. They are looking for the taxi, motorbike taxi drivers, and asking those who’d come in contact with Thuan to quarantine themselves at the facility.

They are also making an official record of his violations for further action.

Earlier, in Tay Ninh Province, officials said a Vietnamese man quarantined on return from Cambodia has escaped and not been tested for Covid-19.

Nguyen Van Cuong, deputy director of Tay Ninh Province's Department of Health, said that he has sent an urgent notice to local and nearby authorities to look for 29-year-old Le Van Vu of Soc Trang Province.

Vu was found missing at a quarantine facility in Ben Cau District Sunday morning. He had entered Vietnam from Cambodia via the Moc Bai International Border Gate on March 19. He made a medical declaration and was taken to the quarantine camp in Ben Cau District.

On Sunday morning, local authorities discovered that Vu had fled the camp. His swab samples had not been tested for the Covid-19 virus.

Police later found him in Saigon’s Tan Phu District Sunday evening and took him back to the quarantine camp. Details of other follow up actions taken were not available immediately.

Tay Ninh Police are still looking for another man, Nguyen Thanh Nam, 28-year-old from Hanoi, who escaped from a province's quarantine camp on Sunday afternoon before receiving any Covid-19 tests.

Nam was put in quarantine after entering Moc Bai border gate in Tay Ninh from Cambodia on March 20.

A few days ago, Hanoi police had caught another quarantine escapee after she boarded a plane to the U.K. In that case, authorities were criticized for imposing a paltry fine of VND10 million ($423) on the 25-year-old woman, a resident of Hanoi's Long Bien District. She’d been quarantined after having direct contact with a Covid-19 patient. Several other cases of cases of people trying to escape quarantine camps have been reported.

Vietnam has recorded 194 Covid-19 infections so far. Of these, 25 have been discharged from hospitals.

 
 
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