A Vietnam court sentenced a man to nine months in jail for attacking a police officer when being reminded to wear a face mask in public amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic this month.
The court in Can Tho, a city in the southern region of the country, convicted Nguyen Van Hai, 49, of ‘resisting on-duty officers’ during a short trial because of COVID-19.
Hai was drunk and wearing neither a shirt nor a face mask when he was walking along a road in Cai Khe Ward, Ninh Kieu District, Can Tho at 5:00 pm April 11, according to court documents.
A team of officers was patroling the road so they stopped by to remind him to wear a face mask to prevent the transmission of the virus.
Hai hurled insults at the officers, challenged them, and punched Bui Phuoc Thanh, a policeman in Cai Khe, in the face.
The man went on to throw a signboard at Thanh but it missed the police officer.
The other officers on the team quickly subdued Hai and took him to their station.
Vietnam still requires people to wear face masks in public despite a slowing COVID-19 infection rate and an easing of social distancing restrictions.
The Southeast Asian country has confirmed 270 cases, with 222 having made a recovery and no death documented, according to the Ministry of Health.
It has logged only two new patients, both imported cases in quarantine, since April 17.
Vietnam has conducted 213,743 coronavirus tests so far while currently quarantining 45,466 people.