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13 direct contacts of border jumper with COVID-19 test negative in southern Vietnam

13 direct contacts of border jumper with COVID-19 test negative in southern Vietnam

Sunday, December 27, 2020, 17:03 GMT+7
13 direct contacts of border jumper with COVID-19 test negative in southern Vietnam
A section of Vinh Long Lung Hospital in Vinh Long Province, Vietnam where patient No. 1,440 is receiving treatment. Photo: Chi Hanh / Tuoi Tre

All 13 people who had direct contact with Vietnam’s COVID-19 patient No. 1,440 – a Vietnamese border jumper in the Mekong Delta province of Vinh Long – have tested negative for the novel coronavirus once.

“These individuals still need to be quarantined for 14 days," Ho Thi Thu Hang, director of the Vinh Long Department of Health, said on Sunday morning.

"If they test negative for the novel coronavirus at least twice, they are allowed to continue their quarantine period at home."

The 13 direct contacts include the patient’s mother and father, five health workers and police officers in his hometown, five people at a grocery store where he bought cigarettes, and a motorbike taxi driver who gave the patient a ride.

The provincial health department is coordinating with authorities in other localities to continue tracking people who came into close contact with him.

All locations where the patient had gone to has been disinfected and temporarily sealed off, while people who recently came to these places were advised to contact local medical centers.

Security along the Vietnamese border has been further tightened to prevent COVID-19 transmission from border jumpers.

The Ministry of Health on Saturday evening confirmed a 38-year-old man hailing from Mang Thit District, Vinh Long Province as the country’s 1,440th COVID-19 patient.

According to his statement, he traveled from Myanmar to Tak Province in Thailand in a car on December 15.

On December 23, he and six other people entered Cambodia by truck.

He first said he illegally entered the southern Vietnamese province of Tay Ninh via the Moc Bai border gate together with two other people on the early morning of December 24.

But he recently changed his statement, claiming that he had entered Vietnam via the Long Binh border gate in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang.

At 5:00 am on December 24, the man traveled to Ho Chi Minh City on a truck, but forgot the driver’s name.

At 7:00 am, he got on a 16-seater coach from Ho Chi Minh City to Vinh Long Province and spent a few minutes at a rest stop in Tien Giang Province. The patient also failed to remember the name of the passenger bus line.

Four passengers were on board the coach but sat in different rows.

After reaching Vinh Long, he took a motorbike taxi to his home in Mang Thit District, before his family reported him to local authorities.

He tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Saturday and was brought to Vinh Long Lung Hospital for treatment.

Authorities in An Giang Province are working with their counterparts in Vinh Long to further verify the information provided by patient No. 1,440 and continue tracking his direct contacts.

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