Patrols tighten in downtown HCMC following disregard of Covid-19 prevention

By Dinh Van   October 18, 2021 | 03:03 am PT
Patrols tighten in downtown HCMC following disregard of Covid-19 prevention
Police fine a man for not wearing a face mask at the Nguyen Hue walking street in HCMC's District 1, October 17, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Huy
Police in HCMC's District 1 have fined dozens of people for failing to comply with Covid-19 prevention protocols while engaging in public activities.

Around a dozen people who had gathered in groups to hang out on Nguyen Hue walking street without wearing masks have been fined VND2 million ($88) per person in the past two weeks, said Le Minh Phat, the district chairman.

He said these days, many people have let their guard down against Covid-19 and ignored the rule of wearing masks and keeping a safe distance when visiting public places such as the pedestrian street.

"Authorities have set up patrol teams to go out and warn people, fine violators and raise public awareness on pandemic prevention," he said.

On Sunday night alone, District 1 police had fined three people for not wearing masks in public.

One of them is a 24-year-old man who was joined by his girlfriend on Nguyen Hue.

He explained to police he needed to take the mask off to eat, but to no avail.

Ho Chi Minh City is the epicenter of Vietnam’s latest Covid-19 wave, which broke out in late April.

So far in the wave, the city has recorded more than 417,700 infections, or nearly half the national tally, with 21,194 of them having lost their lives. Many fatalities remain to be confirmed by the Health Ministry.

Since late May, the city had undergone four months under various levels of social distancing.

On Oct. 1, the southern metropolis announced it would ease all restrictions after the outbreak is put under control and a vast majority of people have received at least one vaccine shot.

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