Vietnam’s Leap Year leaps from normal to the new normal

By Minh Nga   December 26, 2020 | 07:26 am GMT+7
A pictorial flashback captures Vietnam moving to a pandemic induced “new normal,” experiencing other trials, tribulations and triumphs in a year that has been like no other.
Vietnam’s Leap Year leaps from normal to the new normal

Smartphones are out in full force as thousands capture footage and photos of fireworks that explode above Hanoi's iconic Sword Lake to welcome the very first moment of 2020. Photo by Tat Dinh.

Vietnam’s Leap Year leaps from normal to the new normal

A man gets stuck in a traffic jam in HCMC on his way to deliver an ochna bonsai full of buds on January 20, five days ahead of this year's Tet, or Lunar New Year. The yellow ochna flowers are a Tet icon in southern Vietnam. Expert gardeners time plants and branches to bloom in profusion for the holiday. Photo by Huu Khoa.

Vietnam’s Leap Year leaps from normal to the new normal

Li Zichao, 28, one of two Chinese men who caught Vietnam’s first detected infections of the novel coronavirus, at HCMC’s Cho Ray Hospital in February after he had been confirmed recovered. Li, who was living in Vietnam then, contracted the virus from his father, who came to visit him from China’s city of Wuhan, the Covid-19 pandemic’s first epicenter. Photo by Huu Khoa.

Vietnam’s Leap Year leaps from normal to the new normal

Aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt docks at the Tien Sa Port in Da Nang City on March 5 for a five-day stay, marking the second visit of U.S. aircraft carrier to Vietnam in two years. The visit by the carrier was one of the events commemorating 25 years of diplomatic relations between the Vietnam War foes. Photo by Nguyen Dong.

Vietnam’s Leap Year leaps from normal to the new normal

Thousands of foreigners flocked to the HCMC's Tan Son Nhat International Airport to complete exit procedures on March 17, the day before Vietnam stopped issuing new visas to foreigners to prevent coronavirus spread, except for those eligible for visa waivers, including overseas Vietnamese and those who have to enter the country for special matters, like experts and highly-skilled workers. Photo by Huu Khoa.

Vietnam’s Leap Year leaps from normal to the new normal

Children at a neighborhood on Truc Bach Street in Hanoi’s Ba Dinh District wave the national flags to celebrate the end of a 14-day lockdown applied on the entire neighborhood on the night of March 21. The street is home to Hanoi’s first Covid-19 patient, detected on March 3. Photo by Giang Huy.

Vietnam’s Leap Year leaps from normal to the new normal

A farmer picks grass to feed her cow at a parched, drought-hit rice field in An Phu Trung Commune, Ba Tri District, Ben Tre Province, in March. The province was the first of five Mekong Delta provinces to declare an emergency in March after salinity levels in rivers and canals surpassed the record levels of 2016. Photo by Huu Khoa.

Vietnam’s Leap Year leaps from normal to the new normal

Pubs and other establishments on Bui Vien, dubbed "Saigon beer street," attracting hundreds of thousands of locals and foreigners, especially during weekends, suspended operations following the municipal administration’s suspension of non-essential services to curb the Covid-19 outbreak in mid-March. Saigon's 180 bars and dance clubs were allowed to reopen on May 9 before being shut down again in July during the second infection wave before resuming operations in September. Photo by Quynh Tran.

Vietnam’s Leap Year leaps from normal to the new normal

The Vietnamese Army's chemical division disinfected Hanoi's Bach Mai Hospital on the night of March 28. One of Vietnam’s busiest hospitals, Bach Mai made headlines in April after becoming the nation’s biggest Covid-19 cluster with 46 cases, including patients, their family members and medics, linked to it. Photo by Giang Huy.

Vietnam’s Leap Year leaps from normal to the new normal

A woman drives past a banner on Vietnam's Covid-19 fight in HCMC late March 2020, as Vietnam dealt with the first wave of community transmissions of the novel coronavirus. The nation applied national social distancing measures for two weeks from April 1 before extending them by one more week for certain areas, including Hanoi and HCMC. Photo by Huu Khoa.

Vietnam’s Leap Year leaps from normal to the new normal

The Phu Dong Roundabout in the heart of HCMC is almost deserted on the morning of April 5 when Vietnam was placed under a national social distancing program to contain and prevent the Covid-19 outbreak. Photo by Giang Son Dong.

Vietnam’s Leap Year leaps from normal to the new normal

People suffering financial difficulties because of the Covid-19 pandemic receive food and other essential supplies provided by benefactors at a government office yard in HCMC’s Phu Nhuan District, April 11. Photo by Nguyet Nhi.

Vietnam’s Leap Year leaps from normal to the new normal

A boy hugs his father, a doctor at Hanoi’s Bach Mai Hospital, in the very first moments of April 13. The entire hospital had been locked down starting March 28 and the son had been waiting all night at the hospital’s gate to see his father after 14 days. Photo by Giang Huy.

Vietnam’s Leap Year leaps from normal to the new normal

A trader has his body temperature checked at Ha Vy wholesale market in Hanoi, the largest poultry market in northern Vietnam, April 18. As a Covid-19 prevention measure, Vietnam conducted mass testing at several wholesale markets in Hanoi and industrial parks in HCMC in April. Photo by Ngoc Thanh.

Vietnam’s Leap Year leaps from normal to the new normal

Buddhist monks and followers wear masks and maintain social distancing as they pray during a ceremony marking the Buddha’s birthday on April 30 at the Tam Chuc Pagoda in the northern province of Ha Nam. The pagoda is the biggest in the country. Photo by Ngoc Thanh.

Vietnam’s Leap Year leaps from normal to the new normal

A student has her temperature checked and her hands sprayed with sanitizer as she enters the Dinh Tien Hoang Primary School in HCMC’s District 1 on May 8, the first day HCMC students returned to school after a three-month break due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo by Quynh Tran.

Vietnam’s Leap Year leaps from normal to the new normal

A rescue team member stands by the debris of a wall that was five meters high and 100 meters long. The wall collapsed on May 14 at the constructions site of South Korean-run AV Healthcare in the Giang Dien Industrial Park in southern Dong Nai Province, crushing 10 people to death. Photo by Phuoc Tuan.

Vietnam’s Leap Year leaps from normal to the new normal

A woman pushes her motorbike on Nguyen Huu Canh Street in HCMC as she brought her daughter back from school in the afternoon of June 3. The street, which connects downtown District 1 with the new urban center District 2, is vulnerable to flooding anytime it rains. Photo by Huu Khoa.

Vietnam’s Leap Year leaps from normal to the new normal

Police officers stand facing football fans as Ha Tinh Stadium in the central province burst at the seams during a V. League match on June 12. As a Covid-19 prevention measure, the organizers had confirmed that they would only sell tickets for half the stadium's capacity. But Ha Tinh fans were too excited about their team, a rookie one, facing the defending champions Hanoi FC. Photo by Duc Hung.

Vietnam’s Leap Year leaps from normal to the new normal

Conjoined twins Hoang Truc Nhi and Hoang Dieu Nhi, 13 months old, are placed on the operation bed for a separation surgery that lasted 13 hours at the HCMC Children’s Hospital, July 15. The twins are in stable health now, and are learning to walk on their own. Photo by Huu Khoa.

Vietnam’s Leap Year leaps from normal to the new normal

Buses are lined up at a station in Da Nang’s Hai Chau District after a social distancing program was implemented in the central city of 1.1 million from July 28 until September. Photo by Nguyen Dong.

Vietnam’s Leap Year leaps from normal to the new normal

Workers are disinfected at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi after being repatriated from Equatorial Guinea July 30. Vietnam sent a special flight to bring home 219 workers at a hydropower plant in the African country after they reached out for help in June as some of them had contracted the virus and could not get access to treatment. Photo by Ngoc Thanh.

Vietnam’s Leap Year leaps from normal to the new normal

Residents of Da Nang’s Son Tra District queue up for mass testing on August 3. The central city was the epicenter of Vietnam’s second Covid-19 outbreak when community transmissions returned to the country July 25 after a break of 99 days. Infections then spread quickly across the city before reaching 15 other localities, including Hanoi and HCMC, resulting in 550 infections and 35 deaths. Photo by Nguyen Dong.

Vietnam’s Leap Year leaps from normal to the new normal

Three cars of the first train of HCMC's metro line No. 1, shipped from Japan, are transported at night from Khanh Hoi Port in District 4 to Long Binh depot in District 9, October 9. The line, which is set to begin operations next year, will have 51 such cars from Japan. Photo by Huu Khoa.

Vietnam’s Leap Year leaps from normal to the new normal

A military helicopter and its crew brave strong winds and rough seas to save crew members of cargo vessel Vietship 01 that has all but sunk, October 11. Three days prior to the rescue operation, the vessel of a Hanoi-based firm had been swept away by floods and rough seas as it docked at port in central Vietnam. As the rescue mission took place, storm Linfa was heading to the region. Photo by Giang Huy.

Vietnam’s Leap Year leaps from normal to the new normal

Duong Quang Doi, 74, stands by what used to be his house and other properties in Le Thuy District, Quang Binh Province, on October 26. The central region was bombarded by torrential downpours for two weeks starting October 6. Quang Binh was the most severely flooded, with water levels going higher than the record 1979 floods. Photo by Ngoc Thanh.

Vietnam’s Leap Year leaps from normal to the new normal

Uncollected garbage piles up over 1.5 meters high and about 100 meters long on Tran Huu Duc Street in Hanoi’s Nam Tu Liem District on October 26, three days after local residents in Soc Son District blocked trucks from entering the Nam Son waste treatment plant to protest against the authorities’ failure to compensate and relocate them from the area near the landfill. Photo by Giang Huy.

Vietnam’s Leap Year leaps from normal to the new normal

Fishing vessels dock at Tinh Hoa Wharf in Quang Ngai Town of the eponymous central province to take shelter from Storm Molave on October 27. The storm made landfall on Quang Ngai and its neighbor Quang Nam the next day. It was the most powerful storm to hit Vietnam in two decades. Photo by Phuoc Tuan.

Vietnam’s Leap Year leaps from normal to the new normal

Ta Van Chinh, 52, the father of a worker at the Rao Trang 3 Hydropower Plant that is under construction in Thua Thien-Hue Province, burns incense at the spot where the body of another worker had been found, November 23. On October 12, heavy rains caused half a hill to collapse on to the plant, burying 17 workers. Only six bodies have been retrieved and the rest are still listed missing, including Chinh’s son. Photo by Vo Thanh.

Vietnam’s Leap Year leaps from normal to the new normal

A man is about to be injected with Nanocovax in Hanoi, December 17, as Vietnam began human trials of the homemade Covid-19 vaccine.

In the global fight against the pandemic, Vietnam with a population of more than 95 million has won widespread, repeated praise for its success in contain infections and keeping the number of active cases and deaths at a low level of less than 1,500 and 35. Photo by Dinh Van.

 
 
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