Mobile units to enforce social distancing in HCMC

By Dinh Van, Gia Minh   July 13, 2021 | 06:00 pm GMT+7
Mobile units to enforce social distancing in HCMC
Police check commuters' papers at a Covid-19 checkpoint in Go Vap District, July 12, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
HCMC will close 311 inter-district checkpoints after some has caused traffic gridlocks, and retain only those at city gateways to contain Covid-19.

As Ho Chi Minh City enters its fifth day of social distancing Tuesday, it has decided to remove all inter-district Covid-19 checkpoints.

As an alternative, each district would deploy patrols to deal with those violating social distancing measures.

Since last Friday, checkpoints have required citizens to present certificates proving their eligibility to work or documents offering other valid reasons for travel.

HCMC, the epicenter of the ongoing coronavirus wave, on Friday started its second citywide social distancing campaign under Directive 16, which 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.

For now, the city will continue to operate 12 main checkpoints at gateways connecting with neighboring localities. Those who want to exit the city have to provide a certificate confirming them coronavirus negative within three days since issue.

After four days of social distancing, the daily traffic volume has dropped by 86 percent compared to normal, according to the municipal Transport Department.

But the inspection has caused heavy traffic gridlocks at some checkpoints.

By Monday, police had fined 1,243 people who violated social distancing measures, including for physical exercise, more than VND3.3 billion ($143,500).

The southern metropolis has for weeks been the worst hit locality in the nation, with community infections crossing 16,000 by Tuesday noon.

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