On the first day of social distancing in Vietnam’s biggest city, May 31, the rhythm of life continued but the streets were deserted.
The busy streets of HCM City fell silent on May 31, the first day of the two-week social distancing order in a bid to contain swelling COVID-19 case numbers.
In the morning, on otherwise busy gateways into HCM City traffic fell significantly. Smaller streets that usually see congestion during morning rush hours have also become hushed. Popular destinations in District 1 have closed to visitors.
Malls, restaurants, and cafes have also been shut down – with a few eateries and beverage establishment still open only to receive take-away orders. Traditional markets and supermarkets are still open with stacked shelves while local authorities have reassured residents that there will be no shortage of food and products or price increases during the lockdown period. The number of customers at markets and supermarkets have dropped, with guards frequently on patrol to remind visitors to maintain physical distance requirements and hygiene measures.
Most offices and companies have been told to facilitate their employees’ working from home – cutting the number of persons present at the workplace or completely moving operations online – before the distancing measures are taken.
From May 31, social distancing was imposed in the city under the Prime Minister's Directive 15/2020, while Go Vap District and Thanh Loc ward in District 12 in the city will be applying additional measures under the PM's Directive 16/2020 for 15 days in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
This is the second time the city has been placed under such heavy restrictions to combat COVID-19 outbreaks after a nationwide social distancing in April last year in the early days of the pandemic.
Under the current social distancing measures (prescribed in Government's Directive No.15 dated March 31, 2020), no events of 20 people in a room or gatherings of 10 people outside the workplace are allowed, non-essential services and entertainment and sport activities are halted, and people must maintain a distance of 2 metres between each other.
The city has recorded 157 cases of COVID-19 infections in the community after a cluster connected to a Christian mission in Gò Vấp District was discovered on May 27, 2021.
Pictures of the streets of Ho Chi Minh City on the first day of social distancing:
The road from Tan Son Nhat international airport to the center of Ho Chi Minh City at 8 am, May 31.
Hong Ha Road, which runs from the airport to Go Vap and Binh Thanh districts, is deserted.
Hoang Minh Giam Street.
|The streets that ate usually crowded were mostly empty on May 31, the first day of social distancing in HCMC.|
Pham Van Dong Street
|A quiet road|
Markets and supermarkets were still open, and the supply of goods was abundant but there were few people there.
In the central area of District 1, the traffic during the morning rush hour is crowded. Photo: Truong Thanh Tung
People go to the market on the first day of social distancing.
Food and goods are abundant, but few people were going to the market.
A seafood stall at Cay Sop market, District 12.
Social distancing will be imposed in Ho Chi Minh City under the Prime Minister's Directive 15/2020.