A green checkpoint at Alley 199 on Cách Mạng Tháng 8 Street in HCM City. VNA/VNS Photo
HCM CITY — "Pandemic-free green zones” have been set up across HCM City to ban strangers from entering safe residential areas and encourage locals to stay indoors.
Pandemic-free green zones are considered safe areas, with no cases or risk of infection. They are used to limit strangers’ entry and potential infection from the outside.
While shippers deliver goods from the outside through a strict process, locals exiting and entering the area must present proof of residence.
Currently, District 3’s Ward 4 and Phú Nhuận District’s Ward 5 have set up a number of pandemic-free green zones with agreement from locals.
According to Pháp Luật (Law) newspaper, at Alley 502 and Alley 524 of Nguyễn Đình Chiểu Street and the entrance to Đô Thành residential area, several checkpoints have been set up and are guarded by volunteers who help locals receive and disinfect shipped goods.
Locals coming in and out of the area are disinfected as well.
Shipper Trần Văn M., who delivers goods to the area twice per day, said that it was a great move. “I ship goods to many places every day and doing so will ensure everyone’s safety."
Hà Văn Lương, who is in charge of the green area in Alley 524 on Nguyễn Đình Chiểu Street, said that most locals have followed medical declaration regulations and left their information at the entry and exit points.
Meanwhile, many areas without any COVID-19 cases in Phú Nhuận District’s Ward 5 have also been blocked with notices to restrict strangers from entering and leaving while shippers must deliver goods at the gate.
Nguyễn Minh Chi, vice chairman of Phú Nhuận District’s Ward 5 People’s Committee, said that the pandemic-free zone was formed on July 11 with consensus from locals as it ensures safety and restricts potential infections from coming into the area.
This has made controlling of the area much easier, Chi said. As people saw the effects from this model, many have decided to expand it to other areas.
Red areas turn green
In addition to residential areas without any cases of infection, some alleys that have recently been removed from isolation zones have also set up checkpoints to protect their “green status”.
This could be seen in Alley 199 on Cách Mạng Tháng 8 Street in District 3’s Ward 4 where locals quickly installed green barriers after they ended 17 days of quarantine.
Head of the residential group Nguyễn Ngọc Minh said that locals were anxious during the 17 days of quarantine and the decision to set up green barriers was necessary to minimise potential virus spread from outside.
Locals living along the alley work in groups in two shifts at the check point every day.
While the first shift starts from 7am to 12pm, the second begins from 12pm to 6pm. After 6pm, the alley is fenced and all households stay at home.
To support the team on duty at the checkpoint, some families regularly cook meals, and send fresh water and prepare necessary equipment for disinfection work.
“This area has many alleys connected to each other. It is difficult to completely control people coming in and out when other alleys do not set up checkpoint like this,” Minh said, hoping that locals will join hands to help HCM City fight the outbreak. — VNS