No unsupervised return home from HCMC, neighboring provinces, authorities concur

By Trung Son   September 29, 2021 | 04:38 pm PT
No unsupervised return home from HCMC, neighboring provinces, authorities concur
People driving motorbikes back to their hometowns in the Mekong Delta are stopped at a checkpoint in Hau Giang Province, September 25, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Cuu Long
Authorities in southern and Central Highlands localities agree that migrants cannot return home from HCMC and the provinces of Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Long An without supervision.

They expressed agreement at a meeting with a central government task force on controlling the Covid-19 outbreak in the southern, Central Highlands and central regions.

The meeting discussed inter-provincial movement after September 30, when Ho Chi Minh City, epicenter of Vietnam's latest Covid-19 wave, starts easing social distancing rules and gradually resuming socio-economic activities after four months.

HCMC neighbors Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Long An, the second, third, and fourth hardest hit localities in the wave, are also expected to ease social distancing measures starting October 1. All four are major industrial hubs that employ a large number of workers from other localities across the country.

Officials of HCMC, Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Long An said at the meeting that, as part of their economic recovery plans, they wanted migrant workers currently in their localities to continue staying where they are.

They said at the meeting chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam that they were committed to ensuring social security for laborers who stay, vaccinate them and give them jobs soon by restoring production and business activities.

According to the Health Ministry, though all the four localities have achieved high vaccination coverage rate, with almost all people over 18 in HCMC having been given the first shot, it is not safe for people to leave for their hometowns now.

The vaccinated can still contract the virus and transfer it to others, which can pose risks for other localities where the vaccination rate is still low. Therefore, it would be best if returnees from the city and four provinces are managed well and quarantined.

Authorities in the southern and Central Highlands regions also agreed at the meeting that after Sept. 30, no one should leave HCMC, Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Long An on their own. They should only be transported home via plans agreed upon by localities about their departure and arrival.

Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Long An have gone almost 80 days each under social distancing measures. For HCMC, it has been 120 days.

Shutdowns of businesses have prompted waves of jobless people to leave the localities for their hometowns in recent months.

The fourth wave hit Vietnam late April and 774,855 infections had been recorded nationwide as of Thursday, including 380,870 in HCMC, 208,953 in Binh Duong, 47,969 in Dong Nai and almost 32,270 in Long An.

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