Vietnamese flight attendant faces jail for spreading COVID-19

Police in Ho Chi Minh City has launched a criminal  investigation into a flight attendant for national carrier Vietnam Airlines, who breached COVID-19 quarantine protocols and infected at least three others.

The 28-year-old patient, who has been suspended, could be charged with spreading dangerous infectious diseases in humans,’’ Deputy  Chief  Police of Ho Chi Minh City, Nguyen Si Quang said at a news conference on Thursday.

According to the official, the male patient, who has been suspended and will be fired, could face a jail term of up to 12 years under Article 240 of the Criminal Code 2015.

Police said an initial investigation had identified patient 1342 to have signs of breaking the law.

The patient returned to Vietnam from Japan.

He entered mandatory quarantine upon arrival, yet after two negative tests was allowed to self-isolate at home but he intentionally had contact with his mother and two friends, including an English-language teacher who stayed with him for a few days.

The teacher’s diagnosis on Monday ended Vietnam’s 88-day streak of no local transmission.

Since being exposed to the flight attendant, the teacher ran classes in a language centre and attended cafes and karaoke parlours in Ho Chi Minh City.

The establishments he visited have since been closed, while all people who came into contact with the teacher have been put in quarantine.

The South-East Asian country experienced a second wave in the coastal city of Da Nang in July and August, yet had gone nearly three months without recording any community transmissions.

As of Thursday, Vietnam has so far reported just 1,358 Coronavirus cases, along with 35 deaths. (dpa/NAN)

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