Vietnam jails two men for assaulting Covid-19 task force members

By Pham Du, Minh Cuong   April 15, 2020 | 11:32 am GMT+7
Two men were sentenced to prison Tuesday for assaulting Covid-19 task force members who asked them to wear face masks.

Tran Van Manh, 24, received a nine-month jail term in the northern province of Thai Binh six days after he beat officers in charge of health control when they asked him to wear a face mask. He was sentenced April 14 by the province’s Hung Ha District court.

Tran Van Manh stands trial in Hung Ha District, Thai Binh Province, for assaulting Covid-19 task force, April 14, 2020. Photo courtesy of Peoples Court of Hung Ha District.

Tran Van Manh stands trial in Hung Ha District, Thai Binh Province, for assaulting Covid-19 task force, April 14, 2020. Photo courtesy of People's Court of Hung Ha District.

He is the first person in the province to be sentenced for opposing Covid-19 control and prevention measures. The investigation, prosecution and trial were held in quick order by Hung Ha District authorities.

There were no more than 10 people allowed in the court room and attendees had to sit at least two meters apart from each other, as a national social distancing campaign was still in effect. Everyone was required to wear face masks.

According to Hung Ha District police, on April 8, Manh drove a motorbike without a helmet and a mask near his house to Tien La Village, Doan Hung Commune, to deliver beef. At a Covid-19 checkpoint in Thong Nhat Commune, he was stopped by the task force and asked to wear a mask and submit a medical declaration. Instead of compiling, he cursed and assaulted members of the task force with a stainless steel stool.

Also Tuesday, Nguyen Van Quynh, 34, was sentenced to a year in prison for snatching the phone of medical control staff and throwing it on the ground. He was also charged and found guilty of obstructing officials on duty by the Yen Phong District court in Bac Ninh Province, northern Vietnam.

Nguyen Van Quynh at People Court of Yen Phong District on Apirl 14. Photo courtesy of Bac Ninh police.

Nguyen Van Quynh stands trial in Yen Phong District for opposing Covid-19 task force, April 14, 2020. Photo courtesy of Bac Ninh police.

On Apirl 7, Quynh did not wear a mask as he drove a motorbike through the Covid-19 control checkpoint in Yen Phong District. He refused to heed repeated reminders and instead, challenged the checkpoint staff members and abused them.

As Lieutenant Nguyen Van Duc used a cell phone to record Quynh’s violation, the latter snatched the phone and threw it to the ground.

Vietnam has toughened up measures against violations that sabotage the country's pandemic fight. Manh and Quynh's trials are the first regarding violations against Covid-19 task force, although thousands have been fined for not wearing face masks in public places, or leaving homes for "non-essential" reasons.

The country has recorded 267 Covid-19 cases, including 98 active ones.

 
 
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