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Vietnam’s flight attendants under prosecution over violating quarantine rules

January 12, 2021 | 15:44

Duong Van Hau, Vietnam Airlines’s 29-year-old flight attendant is accused of deliberately neglecting COVID-19 quarantine protocols, spreading the virus to 3 other people.

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Vietnam Airlines' quarantine zone in Tan Binh district, HCMC (Photo: VNE)
Vietnam Airlines' quarantine zone in Tan Binh district, HCMC (Photo: VNE)

On January 11 evening, Ho Chi Minh City People’s Procuracy approved the decision to prosecute Hau – known as “Patient 1342” for spreading the dangerous infectious diseases to others.

The approval was made one month following the HCMC Police’s prosecution proposal, saying Hau had seriously violated quarantine rules at the separate isolation area of ​​Vietnam Airlines and at home, spreading the deadly virus to the community, including a 9-month-old baby.

On December 22, 2020, Hau and three related patients, 1347, 1348, 1349, were announced free of nCoV.

In a statement, Hau insisted he didn’t move to other rooms during quarantine time at Vietnam Airlines’s designated zone. The only time he went out was to “go grab some water and ran into two people who asking about his stomach”. The flight attendant has been under quarantine three times, each lasted for over 7 days with three tests fully conducted before discharge. The lastest time, however, Hau was isolated for only 4 days and discharged after 2 negative test results.

The whole incident was captured by cameras. I hope the investigating agency can consider the extent of my violation. If I am fortunate enough to receive the leniency, I voluntarily continue to participate in the anti-pandemic frontline and propaganda activities”, Hau was quoted by VNE.

Hau entered Vietnam from Japan on November 14 and put into quarantine in HCMC’s Tan Binh quarantine zone. However, the man contracted nCoV from a COVID-19 patient for moving around in the isolation center.

After his early discharge, Hau unlawfully went to study at an English center, made close contact with a 32-year-old male teacher, his mother and a woman while he must have been staying at home for further self-isolation.

Hau had previously attended numbers of rescue flights repatriating overseas Vietnamese from France, Australia, the UK. During his treatment at Cu Chi field hospital, he expressed his regret for the misbehavior and apologized for unwittingly troubling the community, society, and economy.

A health worker sprays disinfectant inside a Vietnam Airlines airplane to protect from the recent coronavirus outbreak, at Noi Bai airport in Hanoi, Vietnam February 21, 2020. (Photo: Reuters)
A health worker sprays disinfectant inside a Vietnam Airlines airplane to protect from the recent coronavirus outbreak, at Noi Bai airport in Hanoi, Vietnam February 21, 2020. (Photo: Reuters)

Thanks to strict quarantine and tracking measures, Vietnam fared much better than many nations, registering a total of 1,515 coronavirus infections and 35 deaths. Of the patient tally, 1,361 have recovered and exited hospitals. The country has gone 38 days with no locally transmitted cases.

A Polish man was confirmed positive for COVID-19 on Monday. As reported by VGP, the man, aged 57, flew from Qatar to Ho Chi Minh City on January 9 on flight QR970.

He is being treated at the city’s Cu Chi field hospital.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has recently ordered subordinate levels to minimize inbound flights until the Lunar New Year holiday.

All inbound flights, if any, must be agreed upon by four ministries, namely the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of National Defense, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Transport, before reporting to the Government chief for consideration and decision.

The move was made due to the emergence of new COVID-19 variants that are up to 70% more transmissible in many countries.

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