A woman has tested negative for the novel coronavirus twice after being discovered crossing the China-Vietnam border illegally and boarding a flight from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City last week.
The 30-year-old Vietnamese woman crossed the border from China unlawfully through a small trail into the northern province of Cao Bang on May 28, Deputy Minister of Health Do Xuan Tuyen, who is deputy head of the National Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, announced on Monday evening.
She then headed to Hanoi and boarded a flight to Ho Chi Minh City from the capital on May 29.
The body temperature monitoring system at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in the southern city picked up the woman’s fever so she was brought to the local Hospital for Tropical Diseases, where she tested negative for the novel coronavirus on the same day.
Her second test was conducted on Monday, with the result coming back negative on Tuesday, according to Nguyen Van Vinh Chau, the infirmary’s director.
The woman is expected to be sent to a quarantine facility in Cu Chi District for a compulsory 14-day isolation period.
On May 2, a 35-year-old Vietnamese man illicitly crossed the border from Cambodia into the southern province of Tay Ninh to visit a relative.
He then reported himself to local police officers and was promptly isolated.
He tested negative for the novel coronavirus on May 5 but a second test conducted by the Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh City returned positive on May 15.
He is now quarantined and treated at Tay Ninh Province General Hospital.
The health ministry has asked the Ministry of National Defense to tighten security along all trails on the country’s border to prevent similar incidents.
In accordance with Vietnamese law, entering the country without performing immigration procedures is punishable by a VND3-5 million (US$129-215) fine.
Anyone dodging mandatory quarantine shall be fined VND5-10 million ($215-430).
Vietnam’s COVID-19 tally stood at 328, with 293 recoveries as of Tuesday morning.
No deaths from the disease have been recorded in the country.