Localities to take migrants home by plane, train

By Staff reporters   October 11, 2021 | 07:00 pm PT
Northern and central provinces will organize flights and trains to take migrants home from the south after thousands returned by motorbike.

Ha Giang Province in the far north of Vietnam will organize three flights to take 390 residents back home from Ho Chi Minh City and its neighboring provinces of Binh Duong and Dong Nai on Thursday.

The flights will take off from HCMC's Tan Son Nhat International Airport and land at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, six hours from Ha Giang.

All returnees will be sent to centralized quarantine facilities and tested. The province's budget will cover all transportation, quarantine, and testing fees.

Vuong Dinh Thang, deputy head of Ha Giang's Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, said the province will continue to make a list of those seeking to return home and arrange more flights later.

According to the Ministry of Public Security, there are now 3.5 million migrants working in HCMC and its neighboring provinces of Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Long An, with 2.1 million wanting to return to their hometowns after Covid-19 restrictions started to ease on Oct. 1

But because commercial road, rail and air transport services have yet to resume, tens of thousands of them have made the trip home by motorbike. Many even trekked on foot.

On Oct. 7 and 8, northern Vinh Phuc Province had organized six flights to take more than 1,000 migrants home, with more flights to be arranged for returnees in the coming time.

A family is taken home from to Vinh Phuc Province by plane on October 8, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Tra Huong

A family is taken home from to the northern Vinh Phuc Province by plane on October 8, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Tra Huong

Currently, 3,770 Vinh Phuc residents working in the south wish to get back home, the provincial labor department stated.

"The province gives priority to people having financial problems, the elderly, pregnant women and those with kids before putting others on the list," Vu Viet Van, Vinh Phuc’s deputy chairman, said, adding the province will cover all transport and quarantine costs via its own budget and those of benefactors.

In most cases, migrant workers explained they have all run out of money after losing their jobs due to the Covid-19 outbreak, and that now home was their safe bet. Besides, they are all afraid of yet another outbreak if restrictions are loosened, which means they would continue to be stuck in their rented rooms under strict social distancing rules, fearing the pandemic and receiving zero income.

Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Long An are the second, third, and fourth hardest hit localities in Vietnam’s latest Covid-19 wave, after HCMC. All four are major industrial hubs that employ a large number of workers from across the country.

Central Quang Tri Province is building a plan to bring 500 people home by train. They include pregnant women, women with kids under six, students, elderly people, and those who had come to HCMC for medical treatment and got stuck in the city due to social distancing.

In July and August, the province had already taken 900 home by train.

On Thursday, central Thua Thien Hue Province will also use trains to taken 600 home.

All returnees must be fully immunized with two vaccine doses, it requests.

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