HCMC checkpoints operate at full capacity to keep Covid-19 at bay

By Huu Khoa   May 15, 2021 | 05:20 am PT
Gateways around Ho Chi Minh City now operate around the clock in a bid to prevent the entry of Covid-19.

A task force including traffic, mobile police officers and military personnel have set up barriers and signal lights at Dong Nai Bridge in Thu Duc City near the border between Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) and Dong Nai Province on May 14, 2021.


The checkpoint at the foot of Dong Nai Brige seen from above.
Across the city, 12 such checkpoints have been set up.
For each shift, lasing from 6 a.m. – 1 p.m., 1 p.m. – 8 p.m., and 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. the next day, each task force will be joined by four medics to perform medical inspections, including checking body temperatures of all arrivals.


Police officer Le Trong Phu stands guard at Dong Nai Bridge.
He and two other officers are in charge of stopping vehicles, guiding them into a separate lane and ensuring safety and order for medics to screen drivers and passengers.


A passenger bus is guided to move into the lane for medical inspection.


A medic scans a passenger’s body temperature.


Cao Dao Cuong who arrived in the city from the Central Highlands of Lam Dong on a motorbike is stopped at the checkpoint with a temperature of 39.5 degrees Celsius.


According to checkpoint protocol, in case a person runs a fever, they will be put to rest for a while before their temperature is checked the second time. If it is still above 38 degrees Celsius, they will be taken to the nearest hospital for new coronavirus testing.


Nurse Tran Thi Mo waits for arrivals. "The job is hard as it is dark and the traffic density is high but for public safety we are willing to do our best," she said.
On Friday night, 226 vehicles were stopped at Dong Nai Bridge, and 821 people had their temperature checked.


Medics check the temperature of a driver at another checkpoint in Thu Duc City.
Aside from medical inspections, the number of passengers, name of drivers, vehicle plate numbers and travel logs are all recorded at the checkpoint.


Aside from these gateway checkpoints, HCMC has set up 57 others at its airport, train station, ports and several major roads. The move came as Vietnam copes with a new Covid-19 wave that broke out on April 27 and so far spread to 26 cities and provinces, with more than 800 patients recorded.
Until Saturday, HCMC has registered just one infection but officials are still concerned about possible spread since the city is the nation’s biggest economic hub and visited by many people from different localities.

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