Authorities in Bac Giang City, the capital of the namesake province in northern Vietnam, have levied a VND10 million (US$433) fine on a local woman for refusing to go into a quarantine ward after she was identified as a high risk for COVID-19 infection.
The woman, identified as Pham Thi Q., 44, from Tran Nguyen Han Ward of Bac Giang City, was penalized for dodging quarantine, Dang Dinh Hoan, chairman of the city's People’s Committee, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Thursday.
On Tuesday, Q., along with her father Pham Van T., 69, were found to be direct contacts of a coronavirus-positive case in the area.
Upon receiving the information, officers from the local Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control promptly visited their houses and urged them to self-isolate and report themselves to the local clinic.
T. filed his medical declaration on Wednesday, while Q. refused to submit hers, demonstrating a lack of cooperation with the medical officers.
Though T. and Q.’s COVID-19 tests both came out negative at around 4:00 pm on Wednesday, they were still required to enter a quarantine zone as prescribed by Vietnam’s epidemic prevention guidelines.
A patient may test negative first and positive later during the incubation period of the virus, evidenced by a lot of cases in Vietnam.
When urged by officials to proceed to the quarantine zone, Q. refused and asked to see evidence of such a requirement.
After being presented with the evidence, she agreed to go under the condition that officers allow her to say a final prayer inside her house.
She then went inside and barricaded herself in.
Officials spent hours attempting to persuade the woman to open up but she turned them down.
At 8:30 pm, they decided to enter the house by brute force and coerce her into quarantine.
On the third floor, they apprehended Q., who remained defiant until she was forced into the police car.
With 1,701 patients reported since April 27, Bac Giang Province has emerged as Vietnam’s largest epicenter during the ongoing fourth wave of COVID-19 transmission.
Vietnam has been fighting the COVID-19 pathogen’s re-emergence since that date, with 3,335 community cases having been detected in 31 out of 63 provinces and cities.
The country has logged a total of 6,396 coronavirus cases since the virus first hit it on January 23, 2020, according to the Ministry of Health’s data.
Forty-seven patients have died, most having suffered critical pre-existing health problems.
The nation confirmed 106 community cases in its first wave from January 23 to April 16 2020, 554 in the second wave from July 25 to December 1, 2020, and 910 in the third wave from January 28 to March 25, 2021.