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Children drown in pond in Vietnam’s Central Highlands

Children drown in pond in Vietnam’s Central Highlands

Tuesday, February 18, 2020, 10:53 GMT+7
Children drown in pond in Vietnam’s Central Highlands
The unfenced pond in Da Lat where two kids drowned on February 17, 2020. Photo: Lam Thien / Tuoi Tre

Two unrelated kids drowned on Monday in the Central Highlands region of Vietnam when they followed their parents to a local farm and slipped into a pond there.

The drownings happened at 2:00 pm that day, Ho Cong Dinh, vice-chair of Ward 7 in Da Lat City, Lam Dong Province, confirmed on Monday evening. Reports said that Nguyen Ngoc An, five, and Tran Hao Nam, three, went with their parents to a farm in the An Phu hill neighbourhood in Da Lat.

An and Nam were unrelated.

The two children slipped into the pond of Le Thi Lan, a 67-year-old woman living in Da Lat, without the knowledge of their parents, who were doing the farm work.

The parents searched for their children later the same day when they noticed their disappearance, and found their bodies in the pond.

The pond measures 15 square meters in area and is 1.5 meters deep.

It is located amid flower gardens and was unfenced when the drownings happened.

The parents said they would normally go to work at the farm without the kids but they took them to the workplace this time, as the two were allowed to skip school to prevent the possible spread of the novel coronavirus that is hitting Vietnam.

The Da Lat People’s Committee has sent condolences to the kids’ families and provided each with VND5 million (US$215) in support to hold their funerals.

More than 2,000 children drown in Vietnam each year, according to figures quoted by Vu Thu Kim Hoa, vice-director of the children department under the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs, at a meeting in Hanoi in November 2019.

The rapidly spreading new coronavirus on Monday claimed another 98 lives bringing the total death toll in mainland China to 1,868, with 1,886 new confirmed infections for a total of 72,436, Reuters cited the National Health Commission as saying.

Vietnam has confirmed 16 positive cases so far, with seven having been discharged free of the virus from the hospital.

Public schools in the Southeast Asian countries are requiring students to stay home in a bid to contain the viral spread.

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