Life At The COVID-19 Checkpoint By The Vietnam – Laos Border in photos
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|The COVID-19 checkpoint in Thuan 3 village. Photo: VnExpress.|
The COVID-19 checkpoint in Thuan 3 village (Thuan commune, Huong Hoa district) was established by Thuan Border Guard station in February 2020. The checkpoint is close to Se Pon - the Vietnam-Laos border river, in order to prevent people from entering and leaving illegally.
In recent days, as the second COVID-19 wave has been complicated, all checkpoints have been working more stringent.
|Officers and border guards are on duty 24/7. Photo: VnExpress.|
Each checkpoint consists of three officers, border guards, performing their duties 24/7. The Thuan border post manages 13.2 km of the river border, bordering the two districts of Se Pon and Muong Nong (Savannakhet province, Laos). The post set up 15 checkpoints and a mobile team, each manages nearly one kilometre of the border.
|Major Tran Xuan Tai picking herbs. Photo: VnExpress.|
Major Tran Xuan Tai picked herbs and explained that due to the harsh weather in this area, the soldiers had to make banana-leaves cover for the vegetable garden.
Knowing that COVID-19 prevention would be a long-term process that requires soldiers' regular presence at camps, most of the soldiers at border checkpoints are growing vegetables and raising chickens for their own daily needs.
|Senior Lieutenant Nguyen Van Binh and his peer repairing the rain-proof tarpaulin. Photo: VnExpress.|
Senior Lieutenant Nguyen Van Binh and his peer repaired the rain-proof tarpaulin to create a water trough to get water for daily use. The checkpoint was granted a military tarpaulin, but over time it was degraded, so the soldiers used their own money to build an extra canvas cover.
|The warehouse at Thuan 3 village checkpoint. Photo: VnExpress.|
The tents at the checkpoints were all temporarily constructed of bamboo and canvas. This is a warehouse at Thuan 3 village checkpoint, which is used to keep tools, rice for chickens, and other kinds of stuff.
|The one-square-meter kitchen at the checkpoint. Photo: VnExpress.|
Senior Lieutenant Nguyen Manh Cuong said the prevention of COVID-19 was so stressful that in the past six months, they hardly had a chance to go home. All accommodation and daily activities of the border guards are done at the checkpoint.
|Senior Lieutenant Nguyen Van Binh inside the checkpoint which has just been renovated. Photo: VnExpress.|
This checkpoint is located far from the residential area so there is no electricity. "The canvas house was once blown away by the wind, so we had to renovate and install more bamboo poles to withstand the coming rainy season," said Senior Lieutenant Binh.
Lieutenant Colonel Ho Van Nam propagating to a household in the village how to prevent the epidemic. Photo: VnExpress.
In the second fight against COVID-19, Thuan border soldiers persuaded 1,900 households in Thuan and Tan Long commune to sign a commitment not to deliberately cross the border, not to receive relatives on the other side of the border, and notify border guards if someone from infected area returns to their locality.
|Lieutenant Colonel Nam speaking in Bruu to remind three fishermen on the Se Bon river to comply with epidemic prevention measures, not to cross the border. Photo: VnExpress.|
|The dog named Covid has been raised by the border guards since the first fight against the epidemic. Photo: VnExpress.|
Covid also plays a part in the epidemic prevention as it would alert the guards to strangers, scare away snakes and insects.
|Thuan commune COVID-19 checkpoint. Photo: VnExpress.|
Since February 2020, Quang Tri Border Guard established 84 fixed checkpoints with 405 officers and soldiers guarding 179 kilometres of land border, preventing the COVID-19 epidemic from spreading.
Brigadier Le Van Phuong, Commander of the Quang Tri Border Guard, said in the past seven months, the weather has been so harsh that the tarpaulin houses are seriously degraded, "We want to replace them with steel-framed roofed houses, but we haven't got the funding," said Brigadier Phuong.
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