PM urges people to report illegal entrants into Vietnam on fresh coronavirus alarm

By Hoang Thuy, Viet Tuan   December 28, 2020 | 10:00 pm PT
PM urges people to report illegal entrants into Vietnam on fresh coronavirus alarm
A soldier stands guard along Vietnam-Cambodia border in Tay Ninh Province, March 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has called on people to report anyone they find illegally entering the country, warning they are potential sources of Covid-19 infection.

Speaking at a meeting with province and city authorities from across the country, he said every locality must be vigilant against people crossing borders into Vietnam.

Localities in the southwestern and northern borders in particular "must not lower their guard against Covid-19," he said.

"People must be told to stay vigilant. If anyone sees strangers, they must report to authorities so that the area could be checked, preventing the disease from spreading further like in some other countries."

He instructed the Ministry of National Defense and the Ministry of Public Security to ramp up measures to prevent illegal entrants.

The Ministry of Health should detect and isolate any potential coronavirus patients, especially since the Lunar New Year festival is drawing close, he added.

His warnings follow the detection since Saturday of three in HCMC and the Mekong Delta with Covid-19 who had entered Vietnam with others on December 24.

One of those infected had traveled to his mother’s house in Vinh Long Province, and she reported him to authorities for quarantining.

Through him, authorities tracked down the others.

Nguyen Thanh Ngoc, chairman of the southern Tay Ninh Province, said authorities struggled to verify his itinerary since he was "dishonest" and "inconsistent."

"At first he said he traveled through the Tay Ninh border gate, then changed to An Giang."

Authorities finally confirmed that the group crossed over through An Giang.

Public security minister To Lam on Tuesday said authorities have caught around 14,000 people crossing the border illegally this year, adding that there is still much demand for Vietnamese to return home, especially at the end of the year.

Many Vietnamese are working in Cambodia, China, Laos and Thailand. There has been a large influx of people returning to Vietnam from China and Cambodia lately, Lam said. "There needs to be good measures to both welcome our people back home and prevent Covid-19," he said.

Vietnam has recorded 1,451 Covid-19 cases, 95 of them still active, and 35 deaths.

No community transmission has been occurred for nearly a month.

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