Ho Chi Minh City authorities had discovered 14 cases of illegal border crossings from Cambodia into Vietnam since the beginning of May, the municipal Center for Disease Control (HCDC) said on Wednesday.
Among the 14 cases, six were discovered in residential areas while eight others were at local hospitals, according to the Ho Chi Minh City Center for Disease Control (HCDC).
These people crossed the border through small trails before catching public transport or charter vehicles to the southern metropolis.
Many of these individuals planned to come to Ho Chi Minh City for medical treatment, the HCDC elaborated.
In the most recent incident, a Cambodian married couple crossed the border with their two-month-old child and an interpreter.
They then headed to Children’s Hospital 1 in District 10 to seek treatment for their sick child.
Doctors at the infirmary reported the cases to the HCDC, and the four people were promptly sent to a quarantine facility.
Their initial test results all came back negative for the novel coronavirus.
According to regulations of the municipal Department of Health, city hospitals are allowed to provide healthcare services for international arrivals only after they have completed their mandatory 14-day quarantine period.
The rule also applies to medical centers and private clinics in the metropolis.
These facilities are advised to promptly notify local authorities if they discover any case of illegal border crossing to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
On May 2, a 35-year-old Vietnamese man crossed the border from Cambodia illegally through a small trail into the southern province of Tay Ninh, around 100 kilometers northwest of Ho Chi Minh City.
After visiting a relative, he reported himself to local police officers and was quarantined at the commune-level police station until the morning of May 3.
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.
In accordance with Vietnamese law, entering the country without going through immigration procedures is punishable by a VND3-5 million (US$130-215) fine.
Anyone dodging mandatory quarantine shall be fined VND5-10 million ($215-430).