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Vietnam tightens security along southwestern border amidst rising COVID-19 risk

Wednesday, April 14, 2021, 10:16 GMT+7
Vietnam tightens security along southwestern border amidst rising COVID-19 risk
A COVID-19 checkpoint along the Vietnam-Cambodia border in Long An Province. Photo: Son Lam / Tuoi Tre

Localities in southwest Vietnam are tightening border management and security to minimize risk of COVID-19 spread as the pandemic situation in Cambodia becomes increasingly complicated.

In Long An Province, the provincial People’s Committee has ordered competent authorities to carry out regular inspection at local hotels and accommodation facilities, as well as patroling along border trails and ports to promptly detect any border jumpers.

Multiple quarantine centers have been reactivated with the capacity of up to 1,000 people, according to Huynh Minh Phuc, director of the Long An Department of Health.

Local authorities have been in regular contact with their counterparts in the neighboring country to stay updated on the pandemic developments.

A total of 36 checkpoints have been established along the 133-kilometer borderline in the province.

The administration in Dong Thap Province has been advising Vietnamese people living in Cambodia to refrain from returning home during this period.

Local authorities have also provided essential goods and medicine to overseas Vietnamese in difficult conditions.

An officer is on duty along the Vietnam-Cambodia border. Photo: Khoa Nam / Tuoi Tre

An officer is on duty along the Vietnam-Cambodia border. Photo: Khoa Nam / Tuoi Tre

Twenty-one checkpoints and 18 patrol units with the participation of more than 220 officers have been set up to tighten security along the border.

The province has administered 600 COVID-19 vaccine shots to medical staff and officers working in border areas.

In An Giang Province, 187 working groups have been on duty to prevent the spread of COVID-19 via the Vietnam-Cambodia border.

About 16 to 20 people travel from Cambodia to An Giang on a daily basis and all of them are quarantined upon arrival in accordance with regulations, said Colonel Bui Trung Dung, deputy commander of the provincial Border Guard Command.

In Kien Giang Province, which shares a 56-kilometer border with Cambodia, thousands of officers have been mobilized to maximize border management efforts.

Many patrol ships and speedboats have been tasked with managing the maritime border off Kien Hai, Phu Quoc, and Tho Chau Islands.

Local fishermen have agreed to assist the task force by reporting to competent authorities when they detect a suspicious boat.

A border guard officer talks with local residents in An Giang Province, Vietnam. Photo: Buu Dau / Tuoi Tre

A border guard officer talks with local residents in An Giang Province, Vietnam. Photo: Buu Dau / Tuoi Tre

Authorities in An Giang and Kien Giang have advised residents of the Khmer ethnic group to celebrate the Choul Chnam Thmey (Khmer New Year), which takes place from April 14 to 16, in a safe manner.

Residents were asked to avoid traveling across the border to visit their relatives, wear face masks during ceremonies and rituals, and limit crowded activities.

Vietnam has recorded 2,737 COVID-19 cases as of Thursday morning, with 2,445 recoveries and 35 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health.

The country has not recorded any community-based infections for nearly 40 days.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization has recently warned that Cambodia is standing on the brink of a national tragedy following a sudden and huge surge in community transmissions and COVID-19-related deaths.

Cambodia has documented 4,874 COVID-19 cases so far, with 2,544 recoveries and 35 fatalities, according to the Khmer Times.

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