Fund to keep central Vietnam residents in epicenter HCMC

By Xuan Hoa, Hoang Tao   August 3, 2021 | 01:30 am PT
Fund to keep central Vietnam residents in epicenter HCMC
People returning from HCMC and southern provinces in Thua Thien Hue Province, August 2, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Van An.
Central provinces have either decided or planned on funding residents to remain in Covid-19 epicenter HCMC instead of returning on their own.

Quang Binh authorities have set up a hotline to gather information on people currently staying in Ho Chi Minh City and its neighboring provinces for financial support purposes.

As planned, the province will give each family VND1 million ($43.51) so they could remain in the south instead of returning home to Quang Binh.

Thanh Hoa Province has announced it would stop receiving people returning from all Covid-19 hit localities where the social distancing rule is applied, including HCMC.

The province formerly planned to bring back 1,000 residents from HCMC, but said it would rethink its decision. For now, it will allocate each family staying back in HCMC a total VND1 million.

HCMC has for a month been the epicenter of an ongoing Covid-19 community wave, which hit Vietnam in late April.

The city has recorded more than 100,000 cases so far in the wave, followed by Binh Duong with more than 18,300.

Quang Tri Province has made a list of almost 3,000 laborers that wish to return home, mostly from HCMC and its neighboring provinces of Binh Duong and Dong Nai, home to many industrial complexes. So far, Quang Tri has brought home just 384.

"Those returning home on their own are exposed to many risks along the way and on the other hand, could disrupt the provincial pandemic prevention plan," said Hoang Nam, the provincial chairman.

Duong Thi Hai Yen, deputy head of Quang Tri's Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, said the province is considering giving financial aid and essential products to Quang Tri residents that decide to stay back.

"If people stay and receive support, it would be safer for all and reduce the risk of spreading the disease and on the other hand, would be less costly," she said.

As calculated, the province might have to spend VND7-8 million per person if organizing trips to take them home and then have them stay in centralized quarantine camps for 14 days.

In recent days, many central provinces have reported overload when transiting people returning home on their own by motorbikes.

As ordered by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on July 31, localities implementing social distancing measures in line with Directive 16 are not allowed to let people exit after July 31.

For people who had already left such localities and departed for another province, the relevant provinces must organize pick-ups and drop-offs by sending trucks and passenger buses, aside from organizing tests, and ensure all are put in centralized quarantine.

However, on Sunday and Monday, too many people had headed home from the south, with no trucks or buses available for support.

In several cases, authorities had no choice but to let returnees pass checkpoints on their motorbikes and send traffic police over to manage the situation.

On Sunday morning, traffic police led a group of more than 200 motorbikes with around 300 returnees past checkpoints in Quang Binh Province before leading another group of more than 400 bikes.

In Thua Thien Hue Province, Phu Loc District had let traffic police lead a group of more than 700 motorbikes and 1,200 returnees past a checkpoint on Monday morning.

In Hai Lang District of Quang Tri Province, Lieutenant Colonel Va Son, head of the Hai Lang Traffic Police, said the district is holding 1,000 motorbikes after returnees had been sent to quarantine camps, and given the ongoing situation, there is currently no space left to store more bikes.

Traffic police lead a group of people returning home in Quang Tri Province by motorbikes from HCMC and southern provinces, August 2, 2021. Video by VnExpress/Hoang Tao.

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