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Declaring false medical information may be subjected to criminal handling

VGP – Medical registration avoidance and failure to truthfully report health status shall be subjected to imprisonment.

03/12/2020 10:00

Question: What are the levels of punishment on people who conduct medical registration avoidance; untruthfully report health status; escape quarantine even having signs of Group A infection?

Answer:

Lawyer Nguyen Huu Toai from the Ha Noi Bar Association affirmed that medical registration avoidance, false health report declaration, or quarantine escaping which cause community infection shall be subjected to criminal handling.

Regarding COVID-19 outbreak, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11.

Earlier, PM Phuc signed Decision 173/QD-TTg, dated February 1 declaring the acute respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus (nCoV) an epidemic in Viet Nam. The decision categorizes the virus as a Group A infectious disease.

Under the Law No. 03/2007/QH12 on prevention and control of infectious diseases, Group A of infectious diseases consist of extremely dangerous infectious diseases that can transmit very rapidly and spread widely within high mortality rates or with unknown agents.

COVID-19 is an extremely dangerous infectious disease with no cure and vaccine. Medical declaration is regarded as an effective measure to prevent disease spreading in the community.

Under Article 10 of Decree 176/2013/ND-CP, dated November 4, 2013 on penalties for administrative violations against medical laws, any of the following violations shall carry a fine of from VND 5-10 million: (1) failure to keep sufferers of group A diseases in isolation; (2) refusing to or avoiding keeping sufferers of group A diseases, the subjects in quarantine that carry group A diseases or pathogens of group A diseases.

Article 240 of the 2015 Criminal Code regulates spreading dangerous infectious diseases in human.

1. A person who commits any of the following acts that spread dangerous infectious diseases in human shall be liable to a fine of from VND 50,000,000 to VND 200,000,000 or face a penalty of 01 - 05 years in imprisonment:

a) Bringing or allowing another entity to bring animals, plants or products thereof or other items that are likely to transmit dangerous infectious diseases in human out of the epidemic zone, unless otherwise prescribed by law;

b) Bringing or allowing another entity to bring animals, plants or products thereof or other products that are infected or carry dangerous pathogens that are likely to be transmitted to human into Vietnam’s territory;

c) Other acts that spread dangerous infections in human.

2. This offence committed in any of the following cases shall carry a penalty of 05 - 10 years' imprisonment:

a) The offence results in a declaration of an epidemic by the President of the People’s Committee of a province or the Minister of Health;

b) The offence results in the death of a person.

3. This offence committed in any of the following cases shall carry a penalty of 10 - 12 years' imprisonment:

a) The offence results in a declaration of an epidemic by the Prime Minister;

b) The offence results in the death of 2 or more people.

4. The offender might also be liable to a fine of from VND 20-100 million prohibited from holding certain positions or doing certain works for 1 - 5 years./.