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Vietnamese returnee from US found positive for COVID-19 after leaving quarantine center

Tuesday, January 05, 2021, 16:14 GMT+7
Vietnamese returnee from US found positive for COVID-19 after leaving quarantine center
A hotel has been locked down because a COVID-19 patient visited it right after leaving a quarantine center in Hanoi, January 4, 2021. Photo: Ha Long TV

A Vietnamese student who had been repatriated from the U.S. has been found positive for COVID-19 right after he left a quarantine center in northern Vietnam.

Authorities in Ha Long City, the capital of northern Quang Ninh Province, said on Tuesday that D.T.N., 21, had his second test return positive for COVID-19 on Monday evening.

The Hanoi Center for Disease Control announced the result of his second test after he already left a military-managed quarantine center in the Vietnamese capital on Monday afternoon.

A person is allowed to step out of a quarantine facility only if he or she has tested negative for the coronavirus twice and been quarantined for 14 days, according to the Ministry of Health’s protocols.

N. arrived in Ha Long from the U.S. on December 20, according to a report by the health ministry.

He was sent to the military-managed quarantine center in Hanoi upon landing as per regulations.

The student tested negative for the virus once while in quarantine there.

He was allowed to leave the quarantine center at 4:00 pm on Monday, when his second test conducted on a sample taken on Saturday had yet to come back.

The student was then taken to Ha Long by five family members driving in two cars.

Quang Ninh authorities received a notice from the Hanoi Center for Disease Control around 9:30 pm on Monday, confirming the student to be positive for the pathogen.

Health officials are speeding up their extensive contact tracing to identify and quarantine his direct and indirect contacts.

The quarantine center flouted existing rules to let him go home despite his retest result having not returned, Khong Minh Tuan, deputy director of the Hanoi Center for Disease Control, said on Tuesday.

The risk of him transmitting the virus to the community is low because he has come into contact with a limited number of people, Tuan claimed.

Vietnam has confirmed 1,497 coronavirus patients as of Tuesday morning, with 1,339 recoveries and 35 virus-related deaths, according to the Ministry of Health.

The country has reported no domestic case since December 2, with four infections detected since December 26 among a group of six Vietnamese who had made an illegal entry on December 24 to avoid mandatory quarantine.

Two domestically-made vaccines are undergoing clinical trials in Vietnam, their rollout expected late this year or early next year.

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