A Vietnamese-Canadian man who unlawfully entered Vietnam from Cambodia last week have tested negative for COVID-19 amid concerns over infections being detected among people making an illegal entry.
The man was 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 tested negative for COVID-19 on Monday evening, the Can Tho Department of Health said the same day.
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 denied 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 illegally 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. showed a certificate proving he was COVID-19-negative, Dr. Truc said.
But he was still tested again and 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.
Since Saturday, the Ministry of Health has confirmed four coronavirus cases among a group of six Vietnamese people who sneaked into Vietnam on December 24 to avoid mandatory quarantine that is applied to anyone arriving from outside the country.
Vietnam has logged 1,454 coronavirus patients as of Wednesday morning, with 1,319 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 stall coronavirus transmission.