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Vietnamese-Canadian sexagenarian sneaks into Vietnam from Cambodia amid virus scare

Monday, December 28, 2020, 17:35 GMT+7
Vietnamese-Canadian sexagenarian sneaks into Vietnam from Cambodia amid virus scare
This image displays a quarantine center in Can Tho, southern Vietnam. Photo: Thai Luy / Tuoi Tre

A Vietnamese-Canadian man was quarantined for COVID-19 testing on Monday after he had managed to sneak into Vietnam from Cambodia two days before, against the backdrop of two border jumpers having been confirmed as infected patients recently.

The man has been identified as 62-year-old D.V.H., who has an address in Ward 3, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City, Dr. Huynh Minh Truc, director of the Center for Disease Control in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho, said on Monday afternoon.

He was already tested for COVID-19 and the result will return later on Monday, Dr. Truc added.

H. came to a medical center in Ninh Kieu District, Can Tho on Monday morning to declare his travel history and present other related documents.

The Vietnamese Canadian flew from Canada to Taiwan before landing in Cambodia on December 11, according to his report.

He was isolated for coronavirus tests upon arrival in Cambodia.

He traveled with 13 others to Moc Bai International Border Gate in Vietnam’s Tay Ninh Province, about 90km northwest of Ho Chi Minh City, on Saturday after having finished his quarantine in Cambodia.

H. claimed that he was refused entry because he was not carrying a Vietnamese passport, whereas his companions were allowed to get in and sent to collective quarantine in Tay Ninh.

Listening to advice from some locals, H. hired a Cambodian motorbike taxi driver to take him along the Vietnam-Cambodia border to seek ways to enter Vietnam.

The man hired another motorbike taxi driver to carry him to Vietnamese Long An Province, which borders both Cambodia and Ho Chi Minh City, after having managed to cross the border into Vietnam from Cambodia.

On Sunday, H. caught a 29-seater bus with four passengers on board to come to Can Tho.

He arrived in the city at 10:30 pm the same day and went to have dinner on De Tham Street in An Cu Ward, Ninh Kieu District.

The Vietnamese Canadian went on to rest in a room at a hotel on Tran Van Kheo Street in Ninh Kieu.

He recounted his journey to health workers in the district the next day.

H. has a certificate proving he is COVID-19-negative, Dr. Truc said.

But he was still sent to a military-managed quarantine center as he had come into contact with many people on his journey from the border to Can Tho, he added.

A Vietnamese border jumper was confirmed as a COVID-19 patient on Saturday after he illegally entered Vietnam from Cambodia on December 24.

The Ministry of Health registered one of his direct contacts, who was also a border jumper, as an infected patient on Monday.

Vietnam has logged 1,441 coronavirus patients as of Monday afternoon, with 1,303 recoveries and 35 virus-related fatalities, according to the health ministry.

The Vietnamese government allows entry to skilled workers, experts, diplomats, and Vietnamese repatriates, who are all subject to mandatory quarantine upon arrival, although it still closes the border to international arrivals to stem coronavirus spread.

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