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Two New Covid-19 Cases Found Among Illegal Entrants

One case is in the Mekong Delta and the other is in Saigon, and both individuals have been quarantined.

Tuoi Tre reports that this morning, December 29, authorities in Dong Thap Province announced a new COVID-19 case, a women who entered Vietnam from Cambodia illegally along with patients 1,440 and 1,441 last week.

After arriving in Vietnam on December 24, she boarded a 45-seat bus in Tien Giang Province and then traveled on to Dong Thap. Along the way, she interacted with at least six people before reaching her home, from which she was taken for testing following Patient 1,440's positive result.

Those who came into close contact with the woman have been quarantined, while 62 of 118 known indirect contacts have been ordered to isolate at home, while test results are pending.

Meanwhile, VnExpress reports that another member of the group which traveled from Myanmar overland into Vietnam also tested positive for COVID-19 today, this time in Saigon's District 9. This means that four of the six people in that group have tested positive, while the other two have tested negative.

The individual in question has been working in a factory in Long Binh Ward since returning to Vietnam, and contact tracing related to the case is underway. The area around his house has been isolated as well.

The Ministry of Health has not confirmed the two above cases yet.

In the wake of these new cases, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has called on members of the public to report anyone they come across who has entered Vietnam illegally: "People must be told to stay vigilant. If anyone sees strangers, they must report to authorities so that the area could be checked, preventing the disease from spreading further like in some other countries."

The ministries of national defense and public security have also been ordered to step up border controls in order to prevent further illegal entry.

All told, there are now three cases in the Mekong Delta and one in Saigon, though it seems all four infections occurred outside of Vietnam, meaning there is no known community transmission related to these individuals at the time of writing.

Tô Lâm, the minister of public security, recently said that around 14,000 people have been caught illegally entering Vietnam this year, while many Vietnamese working in places like China and Cambodia are attempting to return home ahead of the Lunar New Year.

[Top photo via Khoa Hoc & Doi Song.]

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