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Days-long motorbike trips the only option for stranded Vietnamese to return home amidst pandemic

Days-long motorbike trips the only option for stranded Vietnamese to return home amidst pandemic

Friday, July 23, 2021, 11:12 GMT+7
Days-long motorbike trips the only option for stranded Vietnamese to return home amidst pandemic
An officer inspects two arrivals to a locked-down area in Nghe An Province, Vietnam. Photo: Doan Hoa / Tuoi Tre

A group of 29 individuals recently traveled 1,400km on motorbikes from southern Binh Duong Province to north-central Nghe An Province to escape the worsening situation of COVID-19 in southern Vietnam.

As air transport and passenger bus services between Nghe An and southern localities have been suspended, motorbikes have become the option available to individuals stranded in the southern provinces that wish to return home in the north.

Between Tuesday and Thursday, 29 returnees arrived on motorbikes in Ky Son District, Nghe An from Binh Duong, currently the second hardest-hit locality in the southern region with over 5,400 local infections.

They had prepared food and water in advance and not stopped at any street-side eateries or motels for meals or rest. 

Local medical authorities have collected samples from the returnees for COVID-19 testing and taken them to centralized quarantine facilities as per regulations, according to Ky Son’s chairman Nguyen Huu Minh.

Not only Ky Son District, authorities in 16 other districts, three towns, and Vinh City in Nghe An have rolled out plans for receiving returnees from the southern region, following orders from the provincial COVID-19 prevention committee.

The Ministry of Health on Friday morning confirmed 3,898 new local COVID-19 cases, taking the country’s tally to 78,269, including 13,421 recoveries, as recorded since early 2020.

Of the latest cases, 11 were detected in Nghe An, 37 in Binh Duong, and 3,302 in Ho Chi Minh City, which has been topping the country in daily new infections, with thousands of patients confirmed per day.

Since April 27, when the pandemic’s fourth wave appeared in Vietnam, Binh Duong and Ho Chi Minh City have accounted for over 5,400 and 48,800 cases, respectively, in the country’s total of 74,570 domestic infections, while Nghe An’s caseload has reached 182.

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