|A border guard of An Thạnh Ba Border Station in Cù Lao Dung District with a loudspeaker on his motorbike. — VNA/VNS Photo|
SÓC TRĂNG — Over the last year, people living in border areas of the southern province of Sóc Trăng have gotten used to seeing border guards carry a loudspeaker on their motorbikes telling them how to protect themselves from COVID-19.
Colonel Lê Văn Anh, head of the Province Border Guard Command’s COVID-19 Prevention and Control Committee, said that during the complex development of the COVID-19 pandemic, local border guards strengthened preventive measures, especially communication.
Many initiatives had been launched and proved effective, Anh said, noting that using loudspeakers in communication campaigns was most effective and economical.
During the pandemic, public communication events to attract crowds were not allowed, but the loudspeaker systems of communes and wards were unable to reach remote areas, Anh said.
With a portable loudspeaker, a USB with recorded information and a motorbike, a border guard could access people in all corners of the province, he said.
Major Lê Văn Băng of An Thạnh Ba Border Station in Cù Lao Dung District said they also drew posters and slogans on COVID-19 prevention and control and stuck them on the loudspeakers.
In the morning and the afternoon, border guards drove motorbikes with loudspeakers turned on, Băng said.
“When reaching busy areas, we slow down or park there so people can hear the information clearly,” Băng said.
During the pandemic, they have explained the Ministry of Health’s 5 K message: Khẩu trang (face mask) – Khử khuẩn (disinfection) – Khoảng cách (distance) – Không tụ tập (no gathering) – Khai báo y tế (health declaration), and called on people to install the Bluezone contact tracing application.
Ngô Châu, head of Âu Thọ A Residential Group in Vĩnh Hải Commune, Vĩnh Châu District, said border guards and their loudspeakers helped people learn a lot about COVID-19 prevention and control.
“Knowing and understanding the Government’s policies and recommendations on disease prevention and control, local people strictly implement preventive measures,” Châu said.
As the commune is home to many people of the ethnic Khmer group, border guards also used the Khmer language, Châu said.
Border guards also visited residents’ houses to advise them on personal hygiene and food safety.
“The border guards told us to sanitise hands, use cooked foods and boiled water, keep away from wild animals and wear face masks,” Châu said.
According to the province’s Border Guard Command, in the last year, border guards gave people in border areas about 18,000 medical face masks, more than 500 bottles of hand sanitiser and some 10,000 leaflets with disease prevention and control information. —VNS