A woman who was physically forced to take a COVID-19 test in Vietnam last week has been required to pay a US$88 fine for failing to comply with an epidemic prevention order.
The penalty was exacted on Hoang Thi Phuong Lan, 38, who is living at Ehome 4 Apartment Complex in Binh Duong Province, said the People’s Committee of Vinh Phu Ward, Thuan An City, where the complex is located.
Lan was slapped with a VND2 million ($88) fine for her failure to undertake testing as requested by health authorities during an attempt to curb infectious diseases, as prescribed in a government decree issued in 2020.
Vinh Phu Ward officials ordered Lan to pay the fine within ten days from her receipt of the decision, but she also has the right to file a complaint or take legal action against the decision.
On Tuesday last week, Lan was teaching an online yoga class at her apartment when someone knocked on the door and requested that she provide a nasal swab for COVID-19 testing.
Lan said she had already conducted a COVID-19 test by herself, adding that she did not want to come into contact with others and that she was in the middle of teaching a class.
A group of officials, police officers, and members of the apartment complex’s management board later forcefully opened the door of Lan’s apartment and took her to the building’s courtyard for nasal swab collection.
A representative of Vinh Phu Ward’s steering committee for COVID-19 prevention and control issued a statement the same day admitting to the use of force.
The representative also noted that Lan had refused to be sampled on several occasions and that her apartment is on the ground floor and at very high risk, as infections were once detected in her block.
Several videos of the incident went viral on social media, resulting in a working session between local officials and Lan on Wednesday.
Vo Thanh Quan, secretary of the Vinh Phu Party Committee and head of the ward’s steering committee for COVID-19 prevention and control, issued a public apology to Lan for the use of force during her testing process.