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Saigon Quarantines Woman Who Entered Vietnam Illegally From Cambodia

While Vietnam currently has a firm grasp on curbing COVID-19 spread via air travel, its land borders remain a high-risk link in the country’s epidemic response.

On May 19, the Ho Chi Minh City Center for Disease Control (HCDC) confirmed a case of illegal repatriation reported by the Tan Binh Health Center, reports Zing. According to the center, a Vietnamese national crossed the Vietnam-Cambodia border recently and was staying in Ward 5 of the district.

HCDC said that she arrived in Chau Doc City, An Giang Province on May 13 and did not undergo compulsory quarantine. She visited two acquaintances in the city and stayed in their house until May 16, when she took a coach to Saigon. Since then, HCDC has tested her and her immediate family, including her husband and two children, with the first test coming back negative.

Last week, a confirmed coronavirus case from Tay Ninh Province also proved to be a headache for health authorities. Case 315 is a 39-year-old man living in Tan Chau District of Tay Ninh. He visited Cambodia from January 10 to May 2, when he returned to Vietnam and took a xe ôm to his aunt’s house in town.

Her neighbors, however, reported him to the local police and he was transferred to a quarantine facility the next day. His first test came back negative for the coronavirus on May 5, but the second test taken on May 15 was positive.

As more Vietnamese return home on repatriation flights, the country’s total tally of coronavirus cases has ballooned. The two most recent cases, 321 and 322, were flight attendants on a Vietnam Airlines flight from Moscow that returned on May 23.

Later, 24 of the flight’s 345 passengers tested positive for the virus; both the crew members and passengers entered quarantine after landing, so there is minimal risk of community transmission.

[Photo via Bao Da Nang]