Within five days, nearly 12,000 people from Ho Chi Minh City and the southern provinces affected by the Covid-19 pandemic rode motorbikes back to the Central Highlands provinces of Dak Lak and Dak Nong to avoid the disease.
Chairman of Dak R'lap District of Dak Nong Province Phan Nhat Thanh told VietNamNet that in recent days the number of people from the southern provinces passing through the epidemic checkpoint stationed at Cai Chanh slope, Dak Ru commune had increased suddenly.
According to Thanh, on July 21-25, nearly 12,000 people, mainly traveling by motorbike, passed the checkpoint to go to Dak Lak and Dak Nong provinces.
On July 25 alone, about 5,000 people from the epidemic areas in Ho Chi Minh City and Binh Duong Province passed the checkpoint. Severe congestion occurred there as the number of people waiting for body temperature check and other procedures was very high.
“Before returning home, we had a negative test for SARS-CoV-2," said a person who was waiting to fulfill procedures at Cai Chanh slope checkpoint on July 25.
However, this large gathering of people raised concerns about the risk of infection in the community. The traffic police of Dak Nong Province Police assigned a group of officers to guide the people who return to their hometown in Dak Lak province, on a route of about 150km long.
For those who returned to Dak Nong's districts and cities, the authorities separated them for testing and quarantine while waiting for testing results.
Tran Thi Minh Ly, from the Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs of Dak Lak province, said the department was working on a plan to welcome citizens returning from southern provinces to avoid the epidemic.
Nguyen Cong Tu, Director of Dak Nong Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, said that his agency had discussed with counterparts of the epidemic-hit provinces and cities on this issue and they had replied that workers should not return home from epidemic-hit areas to avoid disease spread.
Some said that neighboring provinces of epidemic-hit localities should quickly have plans to welcome their citizens back to restrict the risk of infection in the community.
On July 21-25, nearly 12,000 people, mainly traveling by motorbike, passed the Cai Chanh slope checkpoint to go to Dak Lak and Dak Nong provinces.
A police car escorts people to Dak Nong Province.
Provinces have begun organizing trips to carry their citizens from HCMC back to their hometowns.