By staff writers – Translated by Anh Quan
The Hanoitimes – The Vietnam Airlines attendant breached Covid-19 regulations when making contacts with others while undergoing self-isolation at home.
The Ho Chi Minh City police launched on March 2 criminal proceedings against Duong Tan Hau, a Vietnam Airlines attendant, for spreading Covid-19 to others, under Article 240 of the 2015 Criminal Code.
Ho Chi Minh City police said that the People’s Procuracy of Ho Chi Minh City had received an investigation conclusion and other documents linked to a case of “spreading contagious disease to others” involving the 28-year-old flight attendant, who is Covid-19 Patient 1,342 in Vietnam.
Hau breached regulations when making contacts with others while undergoing self-isolation at home. Such act triggered a community outbreak of the novel coronavirus, according to police.
Duong Tan Hau (left) listens as a police officer reads a decision to place him under house arrest to be investigated for spreading Covid-19 in the community. Photo: Ho Chi Minh City police
On November 14, 2020, Hau and a Vietnam Airlines flight crew were tested for Covid-19 upon arrival in Vietnam from Japan and put under quarantine. With two negative test results, he was placed under isolation at a paid quarantine facility in Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Binh district until November 28, 2020.
However, Hau broke the rules by visiting others in the same quarantine area and ended up contracting the virus from another flight attendant returning from Romania.
Hau also left home to meet a friend and take a test at Hutech University while in mandatory self-isolation. He tested positive on November 28, while his friend tested positive two days later.
As per Vietnam’s protocols on Covid-19 prevention, pilots and attendants are provided exclusive restrooms and vehicles once off the plane. They are not allowed to make contact with passengers during flights.
The police said Hau’s act caused material losses of over VND4.4billion (US$193,870), and altered lives of over 2,000 people in the city who were put in quarantine for directly and indirectly making contacts with him.
The outbreak broke Vietnam’s 89-day and Ho Chi Minh City’s 120-day streak without community transmissions at the time.
Hau was placed under criminal investigation for his actions on January 11, 2021 and is held under house arrest.
He is the first person in Vietnam facing criminal process for flouting Covid-19 prevention protocols, but not the last.
Two others, a man in Mekong Delta’s Vinh Long province who illegally entered Vietnam and a woman in northern province of Hai Duong who did not declare her travel itinerary nor who she came in contact with, are also being probed on the same charge.
At the time of writing, Vietnam has recorded 2,475 Covid-19 cases so far, with 538 still active and 35 deaths.
The Hanoitimes – The Vietnamese government creates favorable conditions for foreign investors to expand investment here.
Lotte Properties Thu Thiem’s leadership is committed to building the Thu Thiem Eco Smart City project into a prominent landmark of Ho Chi Minh City and Asia, Lee Kang Woo, General Manager of Lotte Properties Thu Thiem, told Minister and Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung at a meeting on March 3 in Hanoi.
|Minister and Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung (R) and Lee Kang Woo, General Manager of Lotte Properties Thu Thiem (L). Photo: VGP|
Speaking at the meeting, Dung said he hoped Lotte Properties Thu Thiem, owned by South Korea’s Lotte Group, would speed up the construction progress of the project, so that it will be put into operation after the Covid-19 pandemic is rolled back.
In July 2017, four Lotte members and Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee signed a contract the construction of Eco-smart City with the initial investment capital of US$884.4 million, after seven years of proposals. However, the project was halted temporarily after the Thu Thiem scandal over irregularities in granting land to investors.
Earlier, the Government agreed with the proposal of the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City and the Government Inspectorate that the investor is allowed to continue implementing the project.
Minister Dung suggested the South Korean investor needs to cooperate closely with the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City to complete relevant procedures and implement the project on schedule.
The Vietnamese Minister emphasized that the cooperation between South Korea and Vietnam is thriving in many spheres. The Vietnamese government highly appreciates the fact that South Korea has been Vietnam’s largest foreign investor for many years.
On the same day, Minister Dung also hosted Horst Geicke, Chairman and General Director of Sanctuary Ho Tram. At the meeting, Dung stressed that the Government of Vietnam always supports and creates favorable conditions for domestic and foreign investors, including those of Sanctuary Ho Tram project in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, to expand investment and business activities in Vietnam.
The Hanoitimes – As of present, four Vietnamese airlines are operating 14 flight routes to South Korean’s major cities.
Bamboo Airways has become Vietnam’s first airline to suspend flights to South Korea due to the rapid spread of the Covid-19 epidemic in the Northeast Asian country.
In a bid to ensure safety for passengers and the community, the airline would suspend the operation of two routes Da Nang – Incheon (DAD-ICN) and Nha Trang – Incheon (CXR-ICN) from February 26, said Bamboo Airways in a statement.
Currently, DAD-ICN and CXR – ICN routes are being operated daily by Bamboo Airways with a frequency of seven two-way flights per week each with A321NEO.
“The operation suspension of these two routes is an extremely important and necessary action to actively contribute to preventing the spread of epidemic,” said the airline.
The airline also urged Vietnamese citizens or South Korean visitors planning to come back to their hometown should proactively arrange the return schedule before the mentioned deadline.
As of present, four Vietnam airlines, including Vietnam Airlines, Bamboo Airways, Vietjet Air and Jetstar Pacific are operating 14 air routes from Nha Trang, Da Lat, Hai Phong, Danang, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Busan, Incheon, Jeolla-Nam, Gangwon, Cheongwon-gu and Daegu with 182 two-way flights per week, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV).
Meanwhile, eight South Korean airlines are conducting 10 flight routes from Busan, Incheon, Daegu and Jeolla-Nam to Cam Ranh, Phu Quoc, Da Nang, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City with 381 two-way flights per week.
Vice Minister of Transport Le Anh Tuan on February 23 said Vietnam has not considered suspending flights between the country and South Korea. However, as a large number of South Korean passengers have canceled air bookings to Vietnam, airlines are reducing flight frequency to South Korea, said Tuan.
Without passengers, most airlines have suspended flight routes from Vietnam to Daegu, the epicenter of the outbreak, while only Vietjet Air flies to Daegu at the moment, Tuan added.
China is the only market to date that the CAAV decided to halt all flights, starting on February 1 until further notice.
The Hanoi Health Department required people entering Hanoi from Hai Duong Town (the capital city of Hai Duong Province), Kim Mon Town, Kim Thanh and Cam Giang Districts to isolate themselves at home.
They also have to medically declare themselves and install Covid-19 contact tracing apps like Bluezone or NCOVI. Those who tested negative for the novel coronavirus within three days before leaving Hai Duong would not have to isolate themselves, it added.
Though Ho Chi Minh City no longer isolates those entering the city from Hai Duong at centralized quarantine zones, people coming from 16 Hai Duong locations where Covid-19 patients were recorded in the latest outbreak must still self-isolate, according to the HCMC Center for Disease Control (HCDC).
The 16 locations are Cong Hoa Ward, Van Duc Ward, Sao Do Town, An Lac Commune, Hung Dao Commune, Nam Tran Commune, Lai Cach Town, Tan Truong Commune, Cam Dien Commune, Luong Dien Commune, Thanh Binh Ward, Nhi Chau Ward, Kim Lien Commune, Kim Dinh Commune, Ke Sat Town and Thanh Lang Commune.
Northern Hai Duong Province, the epicenter of a recent coronavirus wave in Vietnam with 684 cases, ended 15 days of province-wide social distancing Wednesday.
But over 900 Covid-19 checkpoints were still active in the province, while certain areas with coronavirus outbreaks are still under lockdown, including Kim Dinh Commune with a population of over 7,400.
Vietnam has recorded 2,475 Covid-19 cases so far, with 538 still active.
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