Traffic cops turn escorts for migrant workers stuck in southern localities

By Phuoc Tuan, Tran Hoa   August 1, 2021 | 07:14 am PT
Traffic cops turn escorts for migrant workers stuck in southern localities
A traffic police vehicle escorts workers stuck in Dong Nai back home in Ninh Thuan Province, July 31 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Thai Ha.
Traffic police officers Saturday escorted thousands of stranded workers in southern localities, helping them return to their homes in the Central Highlands and central provinces.

Traffic police officers in the southern province of Dong Nai, a Covid-19 hotspot, guided over 1,400 workers back home in south central provinces of Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan.

The workers, who were living in locked down rented apartments in Bien Hoa Town, had been tested free for Covid-19 and those that showed negative results were helped to return to their homes.

Nguyen Van Thuoc, Party secretary of the town's Vinh Cuu District , said that local authorities arranged buses, ambulances and food to send people back home. Upon arriving at their hometowns, traffic police officers there picked them up and escorted them to checkpoints to make medical declarations and complete quarantine procedures.

The buses were arranged for pregnant women and children to ensure safety, while others drove motorbikes. Traffic police used their vehicles to lead the group to prevent people from stopping along the way.

Earlier, police in Dong Nai similarly escorted 1,700 people stuck in the province to return to the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak.

Dong Nai, home to industrial parks and foreign-invested firms, has recorded 4,551 infections during the ongoing wave.

In the Central Highlands, traffic police from the provinces of Dak Nong, Dak Lak, Gia Lai and Kon Tum were on hand to lead the thousands who had taken National Highway 14 to get back to home.

At a Covid-19 checkpoint in Ia Le commune in Chu Puh District of Gia Lai Province, bordering Dak Lak, hundreds of lined up, waiting to submit their medical declarations. Having driven a long distance on motorbikes, many workers were tired, looking for a place to rest and eat before continuing their journey home.

In HCMC, Dang Van Hien, 32, hastily munched on a bread and drank of a bottle of filtered water given by volunteers at a checkpoint. After eating, he rested in a hammock in a tent, waiting for traffic police to lead the way through Gia Lai.

On Friday, when he had heard that HCMC would continue extending its social distancing order for a fortnight, he and his two friends decided to ride their motorbikes back home to Dak Lak.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh decided to extend the social distancing order in 19 southern localities including HCMC for another 14 days and ordered them "not to let residents leave their neighborhood from July 31 until the social distancing order ends."

More than three months into the new wave, Vietnam has recorded 150,423 community infections in 62 of its 63 cities and provinces.

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