Authorities in the north-central Vietnamese province of Ha Tinh have issued fines worth VND35 million (US$1,511) to seven fishermen for violating COVID-19 prevention regulations by fleeing a locked-down commune in Loc Ha District by boat.
Three men from central Da Nang City -- N.G., 63, N.T., 46, N.C., 64 -- and three others from central Quang Nam Province -- N.V.H., 44, P.T., 39, N.K., 64 -- had gone fishing in Ha Tinh waters before anchoring their boat at Cua Sot fishing port in Thach Kim Commune, Loc Ha District, the local authorities said on Wednesday.
Due to the detection of new COVID-19 cases in the locality, Thach Kim Commune was put under 14 days of isolation from 12:00 pm on June 12.
The six fishermen were subject to local medical quarantine and prohibited from leaving the commune.
A few days later, the group tried to dodge quarantine regulations by hiring V.D.H., a 47-year-old resident in the commune, to give them a secret boat ride to neighboring Thach Ha District, where there are currently no restrictions.
From there, the group planned to find a separate means of transport to continue their travels back to their hometowns.
However, local police caught them before they were able to do so.
The group of fishermen was brought back to Cua Sot fishing port to continue their quarantine according to regulations.
The People’s Committee of Loc Ha District fined the six fishermen and boat driver V.D.H a total of VND35 million for failing to take measures to prevent and control infectious diseases at the request of designated agencies and organizations.
Ha Tinh has registered 71 local COVID-19 infections since the ongoing fourth virus wave erupted on April 27.
Vietnam has detected 8,781 locally-transmitted infections in 40 out of its 63 provinces and cities ever since.
Bac Giang is leading the caseload with 4,945 patients, followed by Bac Ninh with 1,448, Ho Chi Minh City with 1,135, and Hanoi with 464.
The Southeast Asian nation has recorded an accumulation of 12,014 infections as of Thursday afternoon, including 10,350 domestic and 1,664 imported cases, according to the health ministry’s statistics.
The number of recovered patients has reached 4,590, while 61 have died, most with severe pre-existing conditions.