Traffic during long weekend highest since Covid began

By Gia Chinh, Doan Loan    May 3, 2022 | 08:03 pm PT
Traffic during long weekend highest since Covid began
A police officer circulates traffic near HCMC's gateway to the Mekong Delta in Binh Chanh District on April 29, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Dinh Van
Traffic volumes across the country during the past weekend were the highest since the Covid-19 pandemic hit in late 2019, according to the Traffic Police Department.

With people flocking to the streets, there were traffic jams especially in Hanoi, HCMC and other tourist destinations, it said Tuesday.

Reunification Day and International Labor Day on April 30 and May 1fell on a weekend, meaning it was a four-day holiday.

On May 1 three more lanes for collecting tolls on the Hanoi – Lao Cai Expressway to the China border was opened to cope with a sudden surge in the number of vehicles.

On the morning of April 30, due to heavy congestion, two toll booths on the Phap Van – Cau Gie – Ninh Binh Expressway between Hanoi and other northern localities had to stop operating twice for 54 minutes and 10 minutes to let vehicles pass through freely.

Autos flocked to Ring Road No.3 to leave Hanoi on April 30, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh

Autos flocked to Ring Road No.3 to leave Hanoi on April 30, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh

A booth on the HCMC – Long Thanh – Dau Giay Expressway between HCMC and Dong Nai Province was shut for more than two hours on April 30 and four more times on May 2, each lasting around 15 minutes.

A station collecting toll for the Rach Mieu Bridge between Tien Giang and Ben Tre provinces in the Mekong Delta stopped functioning four different times on April 29 and for nearly three hours the next morning and more than three and a half hours on May 2 afternoon.

Two stations on National Highways 51 and 1 in Dong Nai Province also closed down several times on May 2.

According to Ministry of Transport regulations, if a traffic jam causes a traffic backup of 700m at a toll station, it has to stop operation and let vehicles pass through without having to pay any charges.

Many people traveling from HCMC to the Mekong Delta on April 29 and 30 reported "severe" traffic congestion, with some saying the trip took them 16 hours instead of the usual six.

The Traffic Police Department also said there were 104 road accidents in which 55 people died and 84 others were injured during the holidays, seven accidents and three fatalities less than last year.

The pandemic has gradually been brought under control in Vietnam.

In the last seven days the daily average number of Covid cases has dropped by 90,145, or 70 percent, from the previous week.

On Tuesday, for the first time since July 25 last year, there was no death due to the disease.

So far 80.4 percent of the country’s 96 million people have been fully vaccinated, with 58 percent also getting a third shot.

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