| 21 May 2024, Tuesday |

Vietnam sentences flight attendant for spreading COVID-19

A court in Vietnam handed on Tuesday a 2-year suspended jail term to a Vietnam Airlines flight attendant after finding him guilty of breaking coronavirus quarantine rules and spreading the virus to others, police reported.

In a statement, Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security said 29-year-old Duong Tan Hau was convicted of “spreading dangerous infectious diseases” at the 1-day trial at the People’s Court of Ho Chi Minh City.

Vietnam has been lauded for its efforts to contain the deadly virus through mass testing and tracing and strict centralized quarantining. It has recorded fewer than 2,600 COVID-19 cases and only 35 deaths due to the disease.

Hau violated the country’s 14-day quarantine regulations and met 46 other people following his flight from Japan in November, according to the indictment posted on a police ministry website.

Hau had mingled with other people during a stint in state quarantine and according to the indictment visited restaurants, cafes and attended English classes while he was supposed to be self-isolating. He tested positive for COVID-19 on Nov. 28.

Hau’s violations resulted in the quarantine and testing of nearly 2,000 other people in the city at a cost of 4.48 billion dong ($194,192), the indictment read.

State media said he had infected at least 3 other people.

“Hau’s violation was serious, put society in danger and endangered the safety of the community,” the statement added.

Reuters could not immediately reach his lawyer for comment.

In December, Vietnam sentenced the head of the Hanoi Center for Disease Control and Prevention to 10 years in jail after finding him guilty of wrongdoing linked to the procurement of equipment intended to help tackle the coronavirus outbreak.

  • Reuters