21 Chinese nationals who snuck into Vietnam illegally have been traced and quarantined under Covid-19 protocol by authorities in central Vietnam.
Acting on tip-offs from locals, law enforcement personnel in Dien Ban Town, Quang Nam Province inspected a residential area in Dien Duong Ward on Saturday.
They found a group of Chinese people staying there illegally. The illegal immigrants fled as they were approached, but four were caught on the spot and 17 others later in the province’s Hoi An Town.
All 21 have been quarantined at a military facility in Tam Ky Town and their samples taken for Covid-19 testing.
Colonel Le Chi Cuong, head of the immigration management division of Quang Nam’s Police Department, said they are still on the lookout to see if there are more illegal Chinese immigrants left in the province who need to be quarantined and tested.
“It’s still not clear how these Chinese nationals got into Vietnam. We have focused on quarantining and testing them first. We will investigate the case further,” he said.
A Hoi An official said the people had possibly sneaked into Vietnam via small paths along the border between Vietnam and China, and that they had come to work illegally in Hoi An Town.
Nguyen Van Hai, director of Quang Nam’s Health Department, said Sunday afternoon that samples from the 21 Chinese people showed they are negative for the novel coronavirus. “They will continue to be quarantined and then be sent back to China.”
Vietnam’s Covid-19 prevention protocol requires all people entering the country from abroad to stay in mandatory quarantine for 14 days, during which they will be tested for the virus several times. The quarantining and testing are free for both locals and foreigners.
As of Sunday, the nation has gone 94 days without detecting a single case of Covid-19 infection caused by community transmission.
Of the 383 Covid-19 cases recorded so far, 26 are active patients as 357 have recovered. A majority of the cases, 243, have been imported – patients who returned or came to the country from foreign countries.
Reporting by Dac Thanh @ VNExpress