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Caravans of internal migrant workers leave southern Vietnamese province on motorbike

Caravans of internal migrant workers leave southern Vietnamese province on motorbike

Saturday, October 02, 2021, 15:31 GMT+7
Caravans of internal migrant workers leave southern Vietnamese province on motorbike
Domestic migrant workers leave for their hometowns in Vinh Cuu District, Dong Nai Province, Vietnam, October 2, 2021. Photo: A Loc / Tuoi Tre

Authorities in the southern Vietnamese province of Dong Nai have brought great cheer to thousands of domestic migrant workers for allowing them to leave for their hometowns on motorbike on Saturday morning.

Early on the day, a sea of internal migrant workers started gathering at a COVID-19 checkpoint on Dong Khoi Street in the bordering section between Vinh Cuu District and Bien Hoa City under Dong Nai Province to demand the right to return to their hometowns.

As the crowd grew bigger and bigger, several kilometers of Dong Khoi Street were fully occupied.

Most of the workers had resided in Vinh Cuu District and worked for local factories before the fourth wave of coronavirus infections, which hit Vietnam in late April and prompted several restrictions, forced the facilities to close.

The COVID-19 curbs, which lasted for nearly three months, exhausted their livelihoods.

Domestic migrant workers wait to get through a checkpoint in Vinh Cuu District, Dong Nai Province, Vietnam, October 2, 2021. Photo: A Loc / Tuoi Tre
Domestic migrant workers wait to get through a checkpoint in Vinh Cuu District, Dong Nai Province, Vietnam, October 2, 2021. Photo: A Loc / Tuoi Tre

Ychang Eban, a worker hailing from the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak, said that his employer, Chang Shin Vietnam Co. Ltd, has suspended operations for more than three months in compliance with social distancing regulations.

Despite receiving food and necessity supports from the local authorities, he could no longer afford other expenses, such as those on milk for his child, medicine, accommodation rent.

“On Friday, the company announced that it would continue to suspend operations until further notice, so the workers decided to return to their hometowns,” Eban said.

Domestic migrant workers wait to get through a checkpoint in Vinh Cuu District, Dong Nai Province, Vietnam, October 2, 2021. Photo: A Loc / Tuoi Tre
Domestic migrant workers wait to get through a checkpoint in Vinh Cuu District, Dong Nai Province, Vietnam, October 2, 2021. Photo: A Loc / Tuoi Tre

The administration of Vinh Cuu District had to let the workers get through COVID-19 checkpoints to leave for their hometowns after failing to persuade them to stay, according to Nguyen Van Thuoc, secretary of the Vinh Cuu District Party Committee.

The workers were divided into three caravans to head for the Mekong Delta, the Central, and the Central Highlands regions.

Authorities designated a delegation of traffic police officers and specialized vehicles to lead and give support to each group along their way home.

The first group of more than 1,000 workers hailing from the Mekong Delta region cheered as they departed at 8:00 am on Saturday.

Functional forces and Vinh Cuu locals stood along the road to wave them goodbye and send them wishes for a safe trip.

The workers expressed their appreciation in return while some shouted loudly “See you again.”

Functional forces prepare a police car to lead domestic migrant workers during their motorbike trip back to hometown in Vinh Cuu District, Dong Nai Province, Vietnam, October 2, 2021. Photo: A Loc / Tuoi Tre
Functional forces prepare a police car to lead domestic migrant workers during their motorbike trip back to hometown from Vinh Cuu District, Dong Nai Province, Vietnam, October 2, 2021. Photo: A Loc / Tuoi Tre

The second caravan left for the south-central region around 30 minutes later while the group bound for the Central Highlands was the last to leave.

In Bien Hoa City, functional forces also carried out similar repatriation in accordance with an order by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.

“We sent about 200 workers home yesterday and have brought some 2,000 more back to their hometowns this morning,” Nguyen Huu Nguyen, chairman of Bien Hoa City, said on Saturday morning.

Dong Nai authorities coordinated with their counterparts in the three aforementioned regions to repatriate the internal migrants workers following COVID-19 prevention and control rules, according to the provincial chairman Cao Tien Dung.

Functional forces prepare a police car to lead domestic migrant workers during their motorbike trip back to hometown in Vinh Cuu District, Dong Nai Province, Vietnam, October 2, 2021. Photo: A Loc / Tuoi Tre
Functional forces prepare a police car to lead domestic migrant workers during their motorbike trip back to hometown in Vinh Cuu District, Dong Nai Province, Vietnam, October 2, 2021. Photo: A Loc / Tuoi Tre

So far, functional forces in the southern province have taken about 5,000 workers back to their hometowns, according to the provincial Department of Public Security.

An industrial hub of over 3.1 million dwellers, Dong Nai has been the third hardest-hit locality after Ho Chi Minh City and Binh Duong Province with 49,330 local infections since the fourth – and deadliest – virus wave emerged in Vietnam on April 27.

The province has applied various social distancing levels and just relaxed those measures since mid-September.

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