July 14, 2020 10:47

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Tan Son Nhat Customs: Efforts to perform task on frontline in epidemic prevention

12:24 | 22/03/2020

VCN - As one of the first forces directly contacting passengers entering Vietnam, civil servants of Tan Son Nhat International Airport Customs Branch have made great efforts to perform the taskin an area considered the frontline in the Covid-19 epidemic control and prevention

tan son nhat customs efforts to perform task on frontline in epidemic prevention
Customs officers at Tan Son NhatInternational Airport scanning luggage. Photo: T.T

Frontline at border gate

As one of the first forces directly contacting passengers entering Vietnam, customs officers at Tan Son Nhat international airport border gate are at high risk of infection. In addition to the main task of inspecting and controlling import and export goods and vehicles, passengers on entry and exit, Customs officers and employees have made efforts to perform the task ofcontrolling and preventing the Covid-19 epidemic at the border gate.

Deputy Manager of Customs Branch at Tan Son Nhat International Airport Le Minh Hoi says that the branch handles procedures for about 100 incoming and outgoingflightsevery day on average, with nearly 7,000 passengers.

tan son nhat customs efforts to perform task on frontline in epidemic prevention
A Customs officer at Tan Son Nhat International Airport always complies with epidemic prevention. Photo: T.T

In recent days, overseas Vietnamese passengers from European countries have been arriving at high volume, making it very difficult in the clearance of the passenger’s luggage. For example, on March 18, 2,427 entry passengers, including 1,434 passengers from Europe, America and ASEAN to Tan Son Nhat International Airport were isolated.

With such a high volume of passengers, the customs branch at Tan Son Nhat International Airport has arranged officers to carry out screening, ensuring quickthe clearance of luggage for passengers in accordance with regulations. For suspectluggage, the branch will request the medical agency disinfect and request passengers wearing protective clothing toopen luggage to inspect goods inside.

Active response

After getting directions by leaders at all levels on the prevention of the disease caused by corona virus (Covid-19) in January, the customs branch at Tan Son Nhat International Airport directed its units to strictly inspect and control passengers coming from epidemic areas. Thebranch has proactively provided information to its officers about measures to prevent the disease and preparedtools to prevent and control the epidemic.

tan son nhat customs efforts to perform task on frontline in epidemic prevention
Leaders of Tan Son Nhat Airport Customs Department present gifts to civil servants. Photo: TT

To ensure the safety ofcustoms officers, customs branch at Tan Son Nhat International Airport often disinfects and sanitises working areas, strictly follows directions of the Customs sector and recommends health agencies. Customs officers must wear masks, gloves and wash their hands withdisinfectant water frequently and strictly follow the recommendations of the health agency onepidemic prevention.

Hoi says that during the time the country is focusing on preventing and controlling the Covid-19 epidemic, besides the main task of inspecting and controlling the clearance of luggage and goods of entry and exit passengers quickly and promptly, customs officers at Tan Son Nhat International Airport always perform well disease prevention. They are the frontline in epidemic prevention and control, directly carrying out procedures and contacting foreigners entering Vietnam, so risk of infection is very high.

Recently, Customs at Tan Son Nhat International Airport has worked with other agencies in the airport to control immigration; supervised and channeled flights to and from epidemic areas to support medical screening and check; and promptly grasped the situation andworkedwith airlines in detecting thosesuspected of the disease to carry out isolation under the guidance of the Ministry of Health.

Some customs officers at Tan Son Nhat International Airport said when the Covid-19 broke out, the number of cases of infection increases, if epidemic prevention is not well, the risk of infection from entry passenger visitors is very high, making them stressedand worried.

Customs officer of the imported luggage procedure unit Nguyen Thanh Tung said: “Working in the environment of direct contact with foreigners and passengers coming from epidemic areas makes us worried about the possibility of infection. However, strictly following directions by the leaders at all levels, especially encouragement and sharing from the unit’s leaders as well as the focus on equipment in epidemic prevention, we take seriously the prevention steps according tothe recommendations of the health agency, so weare somewhat reassured to work and well perform the assigned tasks".

The effort of customs officers at Tan Son Nhat International Airport is contributing with the whole country’s efforts to surmounting difficulties, preventing and pushing back the disease.

Facing the complicated developments of acute respiratory infections caused by the new strain of corona virus (Covid-19), motivated by drastic directions of leaders from the central to local levels, Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department continues to strictly implement the directive of thedepartment’s director to strengthenepidemic prevention and control. In particular, many detailed scenarios for clearance of goods through seaport and airport border gates have been built to respond to each situation so as not to interrupt import and export activities.

In the time of travel and exposure restrictions to avoid the spread of disease, Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department encourages enterprises to carry out online customs procedures through customs programmes and online public services system and tax payment 24/7 via the banking system.

In the worst case scenario, not to interrupt import and export activities of enterprises, Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department also prepared the scenario of "setting up a field clearance customs unit" when a department or a customs branch is blocked due to the epidemic.

By Le Thu/ Huyen Trang