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Saigon goes empty and quiet as night-time restrictions take effect

By Thanh Nguyen, Dinh Van   July 26, 2021 | 07:12 am PT
Photographs taken after HCMC’s night-time restrictions took effect Monday show streets empty of people and traffic except for task forces stopping and fining the odd violators.

Le Truong Giang, a security guard on Phan Dang Luu Street, Phu Nhuan District records the scene on his phone shortly before 6 p.m.
"I took a video to send to my relatives in the countryside," he said.
From Monday July 26, until Sunday August 1, HCMC requires all residents to remain indoors after 6 p.m. Shops and business establishments must be shut down from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. the following day.


At 6 p.m., several people were found driving on Hoang Minh Giam and Dang Van Sam streets.
In front of the Gia Dinh Park in Phu Nhuan District, nearly 20 officers and local authorities set up checkpoints to fine people those on the streets without a valid reason. An officer said that there were a total of 36 checkpoints in Phu Nhuan. Each ward also has two patrol teams to ensure that the social distancing orders are strictly followed.


Phan Dinh Phung Street in Phu Nhuan District was completely empty at 6:30 p.m.


An ambulance near the intersection of Hai Ba Trung and Nam Ky Khoi Nghia streets in District 1.
Five taskforce groups exempted from the citywide night-time restrictions are emergency and anti-epidemic forces, reporters, sanitation workers, essential transportation vehicles and gateway gas station operators.


A sanitation worker with the District 1 Public Service Co., Ltd said that he only had to work five hours to clean Dong Khoi Street instead of the usual 12 hours because he was only "sweeping tamarind leaves."
"In more than 13 years here, I've never seen Saigon this empty," he said.


A sign calling on people to take preventive measuresagainst Covid-19 is lit up at a corner of the Nguyen Hue pedestrian street in District 1.


An emergency vehicles on Vo Van Kiet Boulevard at 7 p.m.


Thu Thiem tunnel connecting District 1 and Thu Duc City wears an abandoned look. A motorbike or two passed by once in a while.


A long stretch of the Hanoi Highway heading towards the Saigon Bridge does not have a single vehicle or person on it at 7:30 p.m.
The city is following more stringent social distancing under Directive 16 as concerns rise over the spread of the novel coronavirus. The directive requires residents to stay at home and only go out for basic necessities such as buying food or medicines or to work at factories or businesses that are allowed to open.
The current situation is very dangerous and prolonging the pandemic. If the epidemic is not controlled, it will get worse, forcing the city to apply stronger measures, officials have warned.
HCMC, the epicenter of the ongoing fourth coronavirus wave, had recorded 66,422 cases as of Monday evening.

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