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Vietnam jails man for 5 years for ‘spreading’ coronavirus

The fight of Vietnam against the pandemic has been a rare success story in the world, but new clusters of infections have tarnished the record

Vietnam jailed a man on 6 September for five years for breaking strict Covid-19 quarantine rules and spreading the virus to others, state media reported.

Le Van Tri, 28, was convicted of “spreading dangerous infectious diseases” at a one-day trial at the People’s Court of the southern province of Ca Mau, the state-run Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported.

The fight of Vietnam against the Chinese-origin pandemic has been a rare success story in the world, thanks to targeted mass testing, aggressive contact tracing, tight border restrictions and strict quarantine. But new clusters of infections since late April have tarnished that record.

“Tung travelled back to Ca Mau from Ho Chi Minh City and breached the 21-day quarantine regulations,” the news agency said.

“Tung infected eight people, one of whom died due to the virus after one month of treatment,” it said.

The 28-year old was accused of breaching a 21-day home quarantine regulation in the southern province, which had a lower case rate than Ho Chi Minh City, and he tested positive for Covid-19 on 6 July.

Reuters did not immediately reach the Ca Mau court for comment.

Vietnam’s southernmost province Ca Mau has reported only 191 cases and two deaths since the pandemic began, much lower than the nearly 2,60,000 cases and 10,685 deaths in the country’s coronavirus epicentre, Ho Chi Minh City.

Vietnam has been battling a worsening Covid-19 situation across the country after having successfully contained the spread during the first wave in 2020.

So far in Vietnam, Covid-19 has infected more than 5,36,000 people and killed 13,385, a vast majority of them in the past few months.

The country has sentenced two other people to 18-month and two-year suspended jail terms on the same charges.

As the 2021 wave of Covid-19 in Vietnam worsens, the country’s health ministry has ordered that Ho Chi Minh City and capital Hanoi must vaccinate all of their adult residents with at least one shot by 15 September.

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