|Public buses at the Miền Tây (Western) Bus Station in HCM City. All public transport in the city has been suspended for 15 days from July 9. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Diệp|
HCM CITY — HCM City has suspended public transport for 15 days from July 9 to contain the spread of COVID-19.
All public buses, taxis, inter-provincial buses, contract taxis, and ride-hailing cars and motorbikes will go off the roads.
But vehicles used to transport goods and materials for production and food and other basic necessities, and shuttle buses that carry workers and experts are allowed to ply.
But they can only carry half their designed capacity and no more than 20 passengers at a time, and must be disinfected each time before picking up and after dropping off people.
All passengers must wear a face mask at all times and keep a minimum distance of two metres from others.
They must fill out a health declaration form and have their body temperature measures before boarding.
City authorities will work with neighbouring provinces to secure permission for vehicles carrying goods and workers to pass.
A fixed number of taxis have been arranged to carry people to hospitals and health centres.
They have been instructed to keep their windows down and not use air conditioners.
Shipping goods by motorbike is allowed but the delivery people are required to wear masks, frequently wash their hands with sanitiser and keep a safe distance from customers.
The city has also decided to shut all inland ports and ferry services along rivers for the 15 days, except the ferries between Nhà Bè and Cần Giờ districts, HCM City and Đồng Nai Province, Cần Giờ and Cần Giuộc in Long An Province, and Cần Thạnh and Thạnh An and Thạnh An and Thiềng Liềng in Cần Giờ.
But those in operation can only carry 50 per cent of their capacity and have to be equipped with disinfectants.
Passengers must wear masks and maintain social distance.
Traffic police and other inspectors will closely monitor the ferry services.
The city made its earlier lockdown more stringent from July 9 under Directive 16 as COVID showed no signs of slowing down.
Since May 31 it had social distancing under Directive No 15, which included the closure of non-essential services and businesses, but there continued to be hundreds of new infections daily. — VNS