Authorities in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta localities have discovered many COVID-19 transmissions among internal migrant workers who are fleeing Ho Chi Minh City and such southern industrial provinces as Dong Nai and Binh Duong after months being stranded by strict movement curbs.
In Ca Mau Province, the provincial Center for Disease Control documented a record high of 30 COVID-19 cases on Monday, 27 of whom had just returned from virus-hit areas.
Previously, 28 other returnees to the southernmost province from pandemic-hit areas also contracted the disease.
More than 7,000 people came back to Ca Mau from such high-risk localities as Ho Chi Minh City, Dong Nai, Binh Duong, and Long An last Saturday and Sunday, according to the provincial Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.
Huynh Quoc Viet, the provincial chairman, asked relevant units to set up centralized quarantine facilities and COVID-19 field hospitals to handle the new infections and minimize the number of severe cases and deaths.
In Bac Lieu Province, the provincial Center for Disease Control recorded 19 coronavirus transmissions on Monday, 14 of whom were returnees from pandemic-hit areas. All of the cases were sent to centralized quarantine.
The center assessed that those new cases were unlikely to spread in the community.
In Ben Tre Province, about half of 19 new coronavirus cases logged on Monday were returnees who had undergone COVID-19 tests at a checkpoint near the major Rach Mieu Bridge, according to the provincial pandemic control unit.
In Dong Thap Province, authorities reported 70 coronavirus transmissions among over 19,000 returning migrant workers, including more than 8,000 arriving on Monday.
“We’ve been overloaded by the surge of returnees while the pandemic situation remains complicated,” said Doan Tan Buu, the provincial deputy chairman.
In An Giang Province, the number of returnees approached 30,000, 30 of whom tested positive for the virus while 50 others were suspected of carrying the pathogen.
The record number of returnees has been reported by Soc Trang Province, with about 50,000 people returning from high-risk localities so far.
Of that, 35 were registered as COVID-19 patients by the provincial Department of Health on Monday.
The waves of COVID-19-affected people coming back to the Mekong Delta localities began last Thursday, after the government loosened COVID-19 restrictions to pave the way for the country’s socio-economic operations after months of lockdown.
The leaders of 13 Mekong Delta localities of Vietnam have filed a petition to the government proposing a suspension of this massive return, explaining that they need more time to prepare for the reception and pandemic prevention schemes.
Vietnam has confirmed 809,375 community transmissions in 62 out of its 63 provinces and cities since the fourth – and worst – virus wave emerged in the country on April 27.
Ho Chi Minh City is hit the hardest with 400,003 patients, followed by Binh Duong Province with 216,853, Dong Nai Province with 51,364, and Long An Province with 32,784.
The national tally has reached 813,961 patients, including 721,480 recoveries and 19,845 deaths, as recorded since the COVID-19 pandemic first struck the country early last year.