Police in the northern province of Ha Nam on May 4 decided to start penal proceedings against a person accused of Covid-19 propagation, who is from Quan Nhan village, Dao Ly commune, Ly Nhan district.
Covid-19 patient 2899, Nguyen Van Dai, is a migrant worker who returned from Japan on April 7. Following his mandatory 14-day quarantine, he returned to his hometown in Quan Nhan village on April 22, where he was supposed to continue self-isolation for another 14 days.
A Covid-19 checkpoint is erected in in Quan Nhan village, Dao Ly commune, Ly Nhan district, Ha Nam province. Photo: Hoa Hien
However, the 28-year-old coronavirus patient ignored self-isolation protocol and attended several crowded festivities. His actions had allegedly caused a Covid-19 outbreak in Ha Nam, which eventually spread to several other localities, ending Vietnam's streak of zero community transmissions in more than a month.
Moreover, Dai’s act led to the lockdown of his residential area, causing economic losses for the locality.
The northern province’s police are looking at a possible charge of "spreading dangerous infectious diseases in humans," which carries a punishment of up to 12 years in prison.
Besides, three Ha Nam’s officials, including Nguy Cao Phi, director of the Ly Nhan medical center, Phan Thanh Quynh, chairman of Dao Ly People's Committee and Luong Thanh Ngoc, head of a medical station in Dao Ly, have been admonished by the provincial authorities. Phi and Quynh were banned from running for the local people’s councils.
This is the second time Vietnam has launched criminal proceedings against coronavirus patient that ignored self-isolation protocol and caused a Covid-19 outbreak. A flight attendant in Ho Chi Minh City in March received a two-year suspended sentence with probation for the same charge.
The country has recorded 38 Covid-19 community transmissions in six localities, including Ha Nam, Vinh Phuc, Hanoi, Hung Yen, Danang, Yen Bai and Ho Chi Minh City since April 29. Ha Nam province alone has seen 14 cases so far.