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HCM CITY — Mekong Delta provinces are tightening preventive measures against COVID-19, especially along land borders and coastal entry points, after Đồng Tháp Province reported two new cases.
On February 28 a 37-year-old man in Hậu 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 Thường Phước International Sea Port in Đồng Tháp's Hồng Ngự 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.
The chairman of the province People's Committee, Phạm Thiện Nghĩa, 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.
Đoàn Tấn Bửu, People's Committee vice chairman, 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 Hồng Ngự and Tân Hồng districts and Hồng Ngự city.
Educational establishments will be closed from March 1 to 6.
At the border in the provinces of Long An, An Giang and Kiên Giang, soldiers are on duty on 24 hours a day at temporary checkpoints.
Nguyễn Văn Út, chairman of the Long An Province 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.
Lâm Minh Thành, chairman of the Kiên Giang Province 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 Đà Nẵng City and Bình Định 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 Hà Tiên City land border, and all were quarantined ad 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.
Trần Hồng Quân, vice chairman of the Cà Mau Province 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, Quân added. — VNS
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