Sparse traffic at Cộng Hòa intersection on the morning of August 23. VNA/VNS Photo Tiến Lực
HCM CITY — HCM City, the country’s COVID-19 pandemic hotspot, started the first day of intensified prevention and control measures on Monday, leaving many streets empty as people are told to stay at home.
The 15-day social distancing period, which will last until September 6, aims at putting the pandemic under control by September 15.
Stricter measures on the movement of residents will be in place. Residents are urged to stay where they are while special working groups are on duty at checkpoints to ensure social distancing and minimise the spread of the pandemic.
On the morning of August 23, the city’s major roads saw little traffic.
The August Revolution Road in District 3 is empty on the first day of stricter COVID-19 prevention measures. VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Vũ
Some streets, including Lê Quý Đôn, Nguyễn Thiện Thuật and Cao Thắng in District 3, as well as Nguyễn Ảnh Thủ, Nguyễn Văn Quá and Dương Thị Mười streets in District 12, were almost empty due to barriers set up.
Only trucks were seen operating on National Highway 1 passing District 12 and Hóc Môn District.
At the An Sương Intersection bordering District 12 and Tân Bình District, officers increased inspections of vehicles travelling from the city centre to Củ Chi and Hóc Môn districts and District 12.
An officer checks documents of a driver passing through An Sương Intersection checkpoint. VNA/VNS Photo
A police officer said most people passing the checkpoint were medical staff or those going to vaccination points.
Some shippers were required to turn back as they were not allowed to operate in District 12.
More than 300 police officers were on duty at 12 checkpoints of the city’s gateways. Thirty officers would work around the clock at each checkpoint.
Traffic police pull over vehicles passing Trường Chinh Road in District 12 for inspection. VNA/VNS Photo Tiến Lực
By Monday morning, 178,557 infection cases had been reported in HCM City. Of those, 178,128 were locally transmitted.
More than 35,420 patients are in hospital for COVID-19 treatment. Roughly 2,520 cases are in intensive care and 19 are still on ECMO.
Currently, there are 16 pandemic hotspots in the city.
The city plans to redouble efforts to care for COVID-19 patients, particularly those in critical condition, and minimise fatalities. Mass testing at red, or “very high-risk” zones, will be accelerated.
The military forces have set up rapid-reaction teams to provide food, medicine and essential goods for people, particularly the poor or disadvantaged, over the two-week period.
Delivery services have been banned for the two-week period in Thủ Đức City and seven city districts of 8, 12, Gò Vấp, Bình Tân, Bình Thạnh, Bình Chánh and Hóc Môn. The military police will provide essential goods, medicine and food to residents during the period.
The military forces will work with the city’s War Veterans’ Association, Women Veterans' Association, Women's Union and the HCM Communist Youth Union to carry out food deliveries and supervise locked-down and quarantined areas.
Military forces are also present at Covid-19 checkpoints throughout the city to check the documents of drivers. — VNS
Only one motorbike can be seen on Nguyễn Hữu Cảnh Street in HCM City's central business district in District 1 on Monday morning. — VNS Photo Xuân Đăng
Supermarkets have closed. Food and other necessary items will be provided by the military's rapid reaction teams. — VNS Photo Xuân Đăng
Police check a driver's travel permit at a checkpoint site on Phan Đăng Lưu Street in Phú Nhuận District. Police at checkpoints ask people to return if they do not have necessary documents. — VNS Photo Xuân Đăng