Mar 28, 2020 / 09:11

Vietnam criminalizes acts of spreading of infectious diseases

The Hanoitimes - Vietnam’s Law on Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases has created a legal basis for the control of transmission of dangerous diseases.

As many people returning from the epidemic regions or making close contact with Covid-19 patients did not declare their health status or evaded quarantine, they can be punished by Vietnamese law that criminalizes acts of spreading of infectious diseases, local media quoted experts as saying.

Passengers submit medical declaration before entering Vietnam at Noi Bai International Airport. Photo: Tran Giang


The Law on Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases has created a legal basis for the control of transmission of dangerous diseases.

The law stipulates that people with infectious diseases who refuse or evade medical isolation issued by competent agencies will be punished from VND5 million to VND10 million (US$212.5 - 423)

According to Lawyer Nguyen Anh Thom, head of Lawyer Nguyen Anh's Office, if a person who has committed an act of fleeing isolation center and carries a pathogen will be held liable for spreading dangerous diseases offense, as provided in Article 240 of the Penal Code.

If prosecuted, depending on the severity of the crime, the offender will be imprisoned up to 12 years and fined VND20 - 100 million (US$850.14 - 4,250.71), Thom added.

"This is also one of the measures to raise people’s awareness of obeying regulations on epidemic prevention and control, contributing to curbing the epidemic spread," Thom said.

A Hanoi girl caught on plane trying to flee quarantine

Hanoi's authorities on March 25 requested a girl fleeing quarantine to disembark plane bound for the UK and fined her VND10 million (US$423). The girl is Vu Thu Ha, 25, a resident of Long Bien district who had direct contact with a Covid-19 patient.

Being a student in the UK, Ha is subject to home self-isolation until March 27. However, she was found leaving home and going to the Noi Bai Airport on March 25 to board a foreign airline plane bound for the UK.

Hanoi mayor Nguyen Duc Chung said that as soon as the girl left home, she was caught by the city's surveillance system. She was then put in a concentrated quarantine facility.

Many Vietnamese said that the punishment was overly lenient to the girl, given the risk that the community is exposed to due to her act. They said the punishment was not heavy enough to deter such behavior.