Vietnam turns abandoned shop on Cambodia border into quarantine

By Huu Khoa   March 24, 2020 | 09:32 am GMT+7

An unused duty-free shop in Tay Ninh Province on the Cambodian border has been turned into a quarantine for Vietnamese nationals returning from that country.

Inactive for five years, the Moc Bai duty free market in Ben Cau commune in Tay Ninh is adjacent an eponymous international border gate between Vietnam and Cambodia. It is the biggest gate in Southern Vietnam.  The quarantine zone has a capacity of 500 people.

Closed for five years, the Moc Bai duty-free shop in Ben Cau Commune is close to the Moc Bai international border gate between the two countries. It can accommodate 500 people.

As it has been out of service for a long time, so have many things in the supermarket.  For four days, the authorities had had their staff do an overall cleanup, fix the electronic system, and install fans to prepare for the quarantine procedures.

For the last four days authorities have been cleaning the place, fixing the electrical system and installing fans to prepare for the quarantine.

[Caption]The dining area of the supermarket has been cleaned and filled with reclining deck chairs.

The dining area of the supermarket has been cleaned and lined with portable cots.

A staff vaccuums the floor.

A worker vacuums the floor.

The market has been abandoned for a long time, it took us days to make it clean. After cleaning, we arranged the chairs in line and put a blanket on each, Nguyen Van To, one of the cleaning staff said.

Nguyen Van To, one of the cleaning staff, said, "The market was abandoned for a long time, and so it took us days to make it clean."

500 chairs like this have been laid out at the supermarket. 

500 cots have been placed inside.

What used to be a fashion clothing section has turned into a water station.

What used to be the clothing section is used to store drinking water.

The authorities have put tape in the surrounding of the supermarket to prevent outsiders from entering the quarantine zone.  The supermarket was built with a total investment of VND120 billion. After nine years of operation, it was closed in 2015.

Authorities have cordoned off the area to keep trespassers out.

On Sunday, the border gate started to ban foreign nationals from entering Vietnam, following Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s directive. Vietnamese nationals upon entering the Moc Bai gate have to submit a health declaration and be quarantined at concentrated facilities. Cambodia would not allow no border traffic via either land, sea or air starting 11:59 p.m. March 20 to alleviate the burden on both Vietnamese and Cambodians in quarantine, according to a Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation letter sent March 18. As of Monday afternoon, Vietnam and Cambodia have confirmed 121 and 86 infection cases respectively. No deaths have been reported. Prior to the epidemic, an average of 5,000 Vietnamese and Cambodia crossed the international border a day. Since the outbreaks emerged, the Moc Bai border guards have put about 1,000 people into quarantine, said Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Van Dung, Deputy Chief of Commissar of Tay Ninh Border Guards.

Since Sunday foreign nationals have not been allowed to enter Vietnam through the border gate. Vietnamese nationals have to make a health declaration and are quarantined.
Cambodia too closed off its borders to outsiders on March 20.
As of Monday afternoon Vietnam and Cambodia had confirmed 121 and 86 cases of infection. No deaths have been reported.
Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Van Dung, deputy chief of commissar of the Tay Ninh Border Guard, said: "Prior to the epidemic, an average of 5,000 Vietnamese and Cambodia crossed the international border every day. Since the outbreak began, border guards at Moc Bai have placed 1,000 people in quarantine."

The border guards have been on the watch for people crossing from both countries.  The Ministry of Health has confirmed the first three infection cases in Tay Ninh province. Patient 117 and patient 118 returned to Vietnam on March 19 and both showed Covid-19 symptoms which are cough, fever, and shortness of breath. They were taken to Tay Ninh General Hospital by the border guards where they have been quarantined and treated. X-ray results show their lungs have pulmonary infiltrate.

Border guards are on watch for people crossing from both countries. The Ministry of Health has confirmed the first two Covid-19 cases in Tay Ninh Province.
Patients number 117 and 118 returned to Vietnam from Cambodia on March 19 and both showed Covid-19 symptoms like cough, fever and shortness of breath. They were taken to the Tay Ninh General Hospital and quarantined. X-rays showed their lungs had a pulmonary infiltrate.

 
 
go to top