Health authorities in the Mekong Delta province of Vinh Long have put 36 people into centralized quarantine for COVID-19 prevention and control as they came into contact with a local man who illegally crossed borders from Myanmar, through Thailand and Cambodia, to return to Vietnam.
The Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control of Vinh Long convened an urgent meeting on Saturday following the report of the illegal returnee, who poses a high risk of infection.
Accordingly, L.T.T., 32, hailing from Vinh Long’s Mang Thit District, traveled from Myanmar to Tak Province in Thailand on a car on December 15.
On December 23, T. and six other people entered Cambodia by truck.
On the early morning of December 24, together with two other people, he illegally crossed the border in the southern Vietnamese province of Tay Ninh.
At 5:00 am on the same day, T. continued to get on a truck from Tay Ninh to go to Ho Chi Minh City.
T. said he cannot remember the name of the drivers and the people he had contacted along the journey.
At about 7:00 am December 24, T. caught a 16-seat commercial passenger bus to return to Vinh Long.
The bus stopped at Minh Phat rest stop in Cai Be District in the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang during the trip.
There are four other people in the bus, but T. was not sitting in the same row with them.
Arriving in Vinh Long City in the namesake province, T. caught a motorbike taxi to go home in Mang Thit District, where he also visited a grocery store.
T.’s family then reported him to the local authorities.
The provincial Department of Health has determined 36 cases in close contact with T. so far and has placed them in centralized quarantine at Vinh Long Lung Hospital.
The local authorities are continuing tracing other cases of interaction with T. for COVID-19 prevention and control, according to the provincial deputy chairwoman Nguyen Thi Quyen Thanh.
The provincial health department has also prepared response plans in case T. tests positive for the novel coronavirus, in order to limit the spread of the disease in the community.
Meanwhile, the Vinh Long police were requested to work with their colleagues in localities that the border jumper had visited to follow up and report related developments to the People’s Committee of Vinh Long.
Vietnam’s COVID-19 tally stood at 1,439 cases, with 1,303 recoveries and 35 virus-related deaths as of Saturday afternoon, according to Ministry of Health statistics.
No local infections have been detected in the country since December 2.