Mekong Delta provinces step up COVID preventive measures hinh anh 1Border guards on patrol in Dong Thap (Photo: VNA)
HCM City (VNS/VNA)Mekong Delta provinces are tightening preventive measures against the COVID-19 pandemic, especially along land borders and coastal entry points, after two new cases were reported in the region.

On February 28, a 37-year-old man in Hau Giang province who worked aboard a barge bringing cargo from Cambodia’s Phnom Penh tested positive and was quarantined immediately.   

He had arrived along with another man at the Thuong Phuoc International Sea Port in Dong Thap’s Hong Ngu district on February 26.

Authorities have identified three people who came into close contact with the patient.

Earlier, on February 23, the province’s COVID-19 task force quarantined a Vietnamese woman who had entered illegally from Cambodia with the disease. Authorities traced 11 people who had been in contact with her.  

Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Pham Thien Nghia has instructed relevant agencies to tighten control over border and coastal entry points.

They should exchange information with their counterparts in neighbouring countries to make plans to preclude the spread of the disease, he said.

Border guards should set up a hotline for locals to report people coming from COVID-hit areas, he added.

Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Doan Tan Buu said everyone entering from Cambodia have to be quarantined and tested.

The People’s Committee has approved the suspension of festivals and other events and closure of amusement places in Hong Ngu and Tan Hong districts and Hong Ngu city.  

Educational establishments will be closed from March 1 to 6.

At the border in the provinces of Long An, An Giang and Kien Giang, soldiers are on duty on 24 hours a day at temporary checkpoints.

Nguyen Van Ut, Chairman of the Long An Provincial People’s Committee, has instructed border guards to tighten control, warning that a single person could spread the disease if not quarantined in time.

The province is seeking the private sector’s assistance to provide border guards with all the daily necessities they need, he added.

Lam Minh Thanh, Chairman of the Kien Giang Provincial People’s Committee, said relevant agencies have been instructed to ensure border guards get good mental and physical care to reassure them.

The province has received 80 soldiers from Da Nang city and Binh Dinh province for COVID prevention duty at coastal entry points.

It has 80 checkpoints at land and sea, and 11 boats patrol its coast to prevent COVID-19, smuggling and illegal entrants.  

Between February 24 and 26 more than 150 people entered the province through the Ha Tien city land border, and all were quarantined and tested.

Border guards and other authorities disinfect goods brought in from Cambodia and transfer them to local vehicles for onward transport.

An Giang province is doing the same thing. Its People’s Committee plans to set up several task force teams to patrol the border.

Tran Hong Quan, Vice Chairman of the Ca Mau Provincial People’s Committee, said though the province does not share land borders with other countries, its coastal waters are bordered by other countries, a cause for worry, and has instructed relevant agencies to be on high alert.  

On March 1 health officials began to test employees of enterprises who are from other provinces.

All businesses with such employees would be tested, Quan added./.