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Cambodia arrests seven Vietnamese making illegal entry from Thailand

Tuesday, December 29, 2020, 15:01 GMT+7
Cambodia arrests seven Vietnamese making illegal entry from Thailand
A group of travelers wear full protective suits and masks as a precaution after the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at Phnom Penh International Airport in Cambodia, March 21, 2020. Photo: Reuters

Seven Vietnamese people trying to unlawfully enter Cambodia from Thailand have been arrested by Cambodian authorities, according to the Vietnamese diplomatic mission in Cambodia.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Vu Quang Minh, Vietnam’s Ambassador to Cambodia, on Monday afternoon said that the Vietnamese Consulate General in Battambang was presiding over the coordination with Cambodian authorities, the Vietnamese Embassy in Phnom Penh, and other Vietnamese agencies to handle the case, which happened on Sunday night.

According to a report, a group of seven Vietnamese tried to illegally enter Cambodia in order to return to Vietnam.

A number of Vietnamese citizens, who illicitly entered and worked in Thailand, are trying to illegally cross the border to return to Vietnam, Ambassador Minh said.

Recently, a group of illegal Vietnamese returnees were detected in southern Vietnam, three of whom then tested positive for COVID-19.

Border crossing remains a burning issue, with Vietnam and Cambodia facing a huge threat of COVID-19 transmission, said Minh.

Cambodian authorities have advised Cambodian workers in Thailand not to leave for their home country. 

The Cambodian Embassy in Thailand has also provided food aid to some Cambodian workers in need in Thailand.

In addition, Cambodia canceled many public activities near the border with Thailand, while tightening the border control for fear of illegal entries.

In this context, the opening of a community rehabilitation center in the Cambodian province of Sihanoukville jointly built by Vietnam and Thailand, scheduled to take place on Monday, was also postponed, according to Ambassador Minh.

Meanwhile, authorities in Vietnam are conducting aggressive contact tracing to isolate the recently-detected patients’ contacts in accordance with well-established pandemic prevention protocols.

Vietnam has confirmed 1,451 coronavirus patients as of Tuesday afternoon, with 1,318 recoveries and 35 virus-related deaths, according to the Ministry of Health.

The Vietnamese government allows entry to skilled workers, experts, diplomats, and Vietnamese repatriates, who are all subject to mandatory quarantine upon arrival, although it still closes the border to international arrivals to stem coronavirus spread.

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