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Woman tests positive after illegally crossing Vietnam border with COVID-19 patient

Tuesday, December 29, 2020, 09:53 GMT+7
Woman tests positive after illegally crossing Vietnam border with COVID-19 patient
This file image exhibits a quarantine center in Dong Thap Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Ngoc Tai / Tuoi Tre

A woman who had traveled with a COVID-19 patient in a car to made an illegal entry into Vietnam last week has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, an official said on Tuesday.

The woman lives in Lai Vung District, Dong Thap Province, located in the Mekong Delta, Doan Tan Buu, deputy chairman of the province, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Tuesday morning.

She is being monitored in stable health at a hospital in Dong Thap, Buu said.

The Ministry of Health has yet to log this case because it only gives updates on coronavirus patient numbers at 6:00 pm every day.

The woman left Myanmar with five others on December 15 and arrived in Thailand one day later, according to an epidemiological investigation.

The six stayed at a hotel in Mae Sot, a city in western Thailand, until December 22.  

On December 23, they came to Cambodia. The six went on to travel to Vietnam.

When they approached the Vietnamese territory, they hired a seven-seater car to illegally cross the Vietnam-Cambodia border and get to Ho Chi Minh City on Christmas Eve.

Two of the six left the group to move to the Mekong Delta the same day while the rest stayed in the city.

The family of one of the six in the delta’s Vinh Long Province reported him to local authorities upon his arrival.

Health workers then tested him for COVID-19 immediately and the result returned positive at the Ho Chi Minh City Pasteur Institute on December 26. He is named patient 1,440 and treated in Vinh Long.

Another member of the group was confirmed as patient 1,451 in Ho Chi Minh City on Monday.

City officials have identified the remaining three members and quarantined them as per regulations.

Two of the three have already tested negative for the first time, with the other awaiting test results.

Authorities are conducting aggressive contact tracing to isolate the patients’ contacts in accordance with well-established pandemic prevention protocols that have helped Vietnam quickly suppress any flare-up and keep the virus at bay so far.  

Vietnam has confirmed 1,451 coronavirus patients as of Tuesday morning, with 1,318 recoveries and 35 virus-related deaths, the health ministry said.

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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