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Vietnam Flight Attendant Gets Suspended Prison Sentence for Spreading Coronavirus

Vietnam Flight Attendant Gets Suspended Prison Sentence for Spreading Coronavirus

A Vietnam Airlines flight attendant who was accused of starting a rare cluster of COVID-19 infections in Ho Chi Minh City has been handed a two year suspended prison sentence after being found guilty of breaking quarantine rules and spreading a “dangerous infectious diseases in humans”.

Duong Tan Hau, 29, ended up meeting 46 people while he was meant to be in isolation after returning from an international trip to Japan last November. Hau was accused of spreading COVID-19 to several others which resulted in a massive test and contact tracing effort by local authorities.

Photo Credit: Airbus

Prosecutors claimed nearly 2,000 people had to be traced, tested and put into quarantine as a result of Hau’s actions. The operation to contain the outbreak was estimated to have cost nearly $200,000.

Vietnam has been praised for its success in containing the Coronavirus and all international arrivals, including aircrew, must observe strict quarantine rules to prevent importation of the deadly virus.

Vietnam Airlines has a dedicated crew quarantine facility in Hi Chi Minh City where flight attendants and pilots stay for four days after returning from a foreign assignment. Crew members are also required to take two COVID-19 tests 72 hours apart on their return and if both are negative they can complete a two week isolation period in their own home.

Tan Hau was accused of leaving his dedicated quarantine block and visiting another flight attendant who infected him with COVID-19. During the time he was meant to be in self-isolation at home, Tan Hau allegedly visited cafes and restaurants, and also attended English classes.

Tan Hau is believed to have infected at least three other people.

The outbreak broke an 89-day COVID-free streak in the country and it was the first cluster in Ho Chi Minh City in 120 days.

Vietnam Airlines has apologised for the actions of the flight attendant and says it has improved quarantine protocols at its dedicated isolation facility.

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