Police in Ho Chi Minh City have captured two Chinese nationals, who had been caught sneaking into Vietnam illegally and escaped after being sent to a local isolation ward.
The capture was confirmed on Tuesday by the principal of Ho Chi Minh City Military School in Cu Chi District – a venue repurposed into a quarantine ward, where the two Chinese had escaped from.
The duo were found in Hoa Khanh Dong Commune, Duc Hoa District of neighboring Long An Province, which is some 32 kilometers away from the quarantine ward.
Police of Cu Chi District have detained the two individuals and brought them back to quarantine.
The two Chinese nationals were born in 1999 and 2001, respectively, Nguyen Huu Hoai Phu, chairman of the Cu Chi People’s Committee, said during a meeting of the Ho Chi Minh City Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.
The duo escaped their quarantine ward in Cu Chi District on Sunday evening after they were sent there along with nine other Chinese border jumpers a few days earlier.
Cu Chi authorities have mobilized lower-level police forces, as well as local residents, to scour for the two in lodging facilities in the locale.
Vietnam is staying on high alert against border jumpers, who could bring the COVID-19 pathogen into the country and enkindle another outbreak.
The Southeast Asian nation has gone through three outbreaks of COVID-19, with 2,962 infections, 2,549 recoveries, and 35 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health's statistics.
Since April 27, 38 domestic cases have been recorded in the country.
Locals started enjoying a four-day holiday to celebrate Reunification Day (April 30) and International Workers’ Day (May 1) on Friday, which pulled citizens to domestic tourism hubs in droves and raised concerns over COVID-19 spread.
Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and other provinces have shuttered non-essential services such as karaoke parlors, nightclubs, discos, and online game centers to quell the virus.