The risk of COVID-19 spreading at or near border areas still exists despite border checkpoints, according to Tran Dac Phu, a senior advisor at the Public Health Emergency Operations Centre at the Ministry of Health.
|The border guard force at the Vinh Xuong International Border Gate in An Giang Province has increased patrols along trails to prevent illegal entry and exit across the border. — VNA/VNS Photo Cong Mao|
He noted that all cross-border travel of residents via trails and open roads remains difficult to control.
Vietnam has had no new cases of COVID-19 in the community over the past 48 days, but community transmission risks still exist.
“People should not neglect prevention and control measures, including early detection and prompt quarantine,” Phu said.
Nguyen Van Vinh Chau, director of the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in HCM City on Tuesday, said that a 30-year-old woman who illegally returned to Vietnam from China had tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 twice.
On Monday, the HCM City Centre for Disease Control said a woman suspected of being positive for coronavirus arrived at Cao Bang Province via a border trail on May 28 and then flew from Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi to Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCM City on May 29.
Hoang Xuan Anh, chairman of the Cao Bang Province’s People’s Committee, asked the border guard to strengthen management of migration at borders to control the spread of COVID-19.
The province’s Department of Foreign Affairs will work with Chinese authorities on tightening immigration management measures.
Phu said the woman violated Vietnam's immigration laws and regulations on medical declarations.
She was the second person to have been found illegally returning to Vietnam without undergoing the mandated 14-day quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.
The first case was a 39-year-old man residing in Tay Ninh Province’s Tan Chau District, later identified as the 315th COVID-19 patient in Vietnam. He illegally returned to Vietnam from overseas through a border trail on May 2, and then stayed at a relative’s house in Tan Chau District.
Reporting inaccurate health status or evading quarantine can result in fines of VND5-10 trillion (US$215-430).
Cao Thanh Nam, head of Kien Giang Province’s Centre for Disease Control, said a woman and her two children had been found illegally crossing the border via a border trail near Ha Tien International Border Gate.
“Thanks to the public’s awareness about disease prevention, violations have been detected promptly and people were quarantined,” Nam said.
An Giang Province shares a border of more than 100km with Cambodia.
The province’s border guard force has worked with local police to increase patrols and has set up many border checkpoints, but many people have still been found crossing the border illegally through trails and open roads. VNS
Border guards in the northern mountainous province of Lai Chau have set up tents along trails and near border crossings to receive people in quarantine in the context of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading across the country..
Border authorities in the southern region are strictly controlling all travel through border gates as part of an effort to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 disease.