The car, whose driver is in Sóc Trăng Province, transporting the group of six Vietnamese nationals entering Việt Nam illegally is being disinfected. — VNA/VNS Photo Trung Hiếu
HCM CITY — A 32-year-old woman in Đồng Tháp Province has become the third COVID-19 case in a group of six Vietnamese nationals entering the country illegally via the border with Cambodia.
The Mekong Delta province’s authorities announced the news on Tuesday morning after the first PCR test conducted by HCM City Pasteur Institute came back positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that caused the disease.
The woman, named H.T.H.N, with registered residence in Hoà Khánh Village, Vĩnh Thới Commune, Lai Vung District, is currently being quarantined and treated at Sa Đéc General Hospital, Đồng Tháp.
Her health is reported to be stable.
Đoàn Tấn Bửu, vice chairman of Đồng Tháp People’s Committee, said that so far, four family members and two other people have been identified as her close contacts and have been put under quarantine in Hồng Ngự District’s centralised quarantine facility, while another 118 who came into contacts with the six have been asked to self-isolate while further epidemiological investigation is undertaken.
The results of COVID-19 diagnosis for the six close contacts will be available within the day, according to the province's official.
Bửu said all large gatherings have been suspended in Lai Vung District.
As previously reported, a group of six Vietnamese nationals – originally from HCM City and many other southern provinces – illegally entered Việt Nam at a border crossing in the southern province of An Giang on early December 24, then hired a seven-seat car to get home.
The first person in the group to be confirmed positive for the virus was Patient 1,440, a 32-year-old from Mang Thít District, Vĩnh Long District, on December 26, after he was reported to the authorities by his own mother for illegal border crossing and quarantine evasion.
A 23-year-old man in HCM City was confirmed to be the second case related to the group yesterday, Patient 1,451, who reportedly stayed with Patient 1,440 in Myanmar since September before they made the trip through Thailand and Cambodia to Việt Nam.
The third case, N., who worked in a nail salon in Cambodia, and Patient 1,440, reportedly got out of the car to leave for their homes in the south-western region, while the other four continued on to HCM City.
At a rest stop called Minh Phát in Cái Bè District, Tiền Giang Province, N. didn’t get out and remained in the car.
At 9am of December 24, she was transferred to a 45-seat sleeper bus to go Lai Vung District’s post office and got picked up by her sister to go home.
N. said she wore masks during the entire journey and didn’t go outside after arriving home.
The driver of the seven-seat car, a 30-year-old man named M.V.T. residing in Vĩnh Lộc Commune, An Phú District, An Giang Province, was only identified yesterday by the authorities.
He tested negative for the virus, but many of the passengers that he drove after the trip from the border have been placed under quarantine for monitoring.
So far, the identities of six illegal entries into Việt Nam have all been confirmed after HCM City found the remaining three men yesterday night – a man living in District 1, another in Hóc Môn District, and a man named K. with an address on Nguyễn Xiển Street, Long Bình District.
K. then went back to a wood workshop until December 28 when the owner of the workshop informed local authorities.
K. and 14 of his close contacts have been moved into quarantine and samples were taken to be tested for COVID-19.
Two men tested negative for the virus in the first test while K.’s results are still pending.
Patient 1,440 told the authorities that there is a 'ring' who said they could help smuggle people into the country without going through 14-day quarantine for a price of VNĐ50 million (about US$2,170), according to Tuổi trẻ newspaper. He said he met the five other people at a section of the river in Cambodia near the border with Việt Nam's An Giang Province before crossing over. — VNS