Hanoi pedestrian zone deserted as residents vote with their feet

By Trung Nghia, Bao Ngan   January 31, 2021 | 08:10 pm GMT+7
Hanoi’s pedestrian zone fell abnormally quiet this weekend even without official proclamation of a social distancing campaign as residents reacted to the latest Covid-19 outbreak.
Hanoi pedestrian zone deserted as residents vote with their feet

At 3.pm. Saturday, quiet reigns over the normally crowded Dong Kinh Nghia Thuc Square in downtown Hoan Kiem District.

A man working for a parking lot near the Hoan Kiem Lake said the area became significantly quieter as soon as Covid-19 community transmissions were detected in the capital city.

“Normally the parking lot is full of motorbikes, but now there are just 20 or so,” he said.

Hanoi pedestrian zone deserted as residents vote with their feet

Workers working by the lake also remarked on the weekend change.

“The pandemic is getting more complicated, so we would be worried if the pedestrian zone is crowded as it used to be. It is good that the zone is quiet,” one worker said, adding the area was filled with a lot of visitors the previous weekend.

Hanoi pedestrian zone deserted as residents vote with their feet

In front of the iconic Ly Thai To Monument on Saturday afternoon, the few people venturing out wore masks.

Hanoi pedestrian zone deserted as residents vote with their feet

Sketch artists, who are always busy on the weekend, were idling.

“We normally create 10 - 15 artworks on Saturday. But since this morning, I have drawn none and am sitting here to hang out with people. It is sad but I have no choice,” said sketch artist Hoang Minh Duc (left) as he talked with a friend.

Hanoi pedestrian zone deserted as residents vote with their feet

Kelly (right) from Canada and Miranda (left) from the U.S. said they usually take walk by the lake at the weekend.

“In comparison to other weekends, it is so quiet today. Walking in the pedestrian zone at the moment worries us, but we feel okay because we are not that vulnerable to the virus.”

Hanoi pedestrian zone deserted as residents vote with their feet

A cafe on Dinh Tien Hoang Street has no patrons at 4 p.m. Saturday.

Hanoi pedestrian zone deserted as residents vote with their feet

The Huc Bridge that connects Ngoc Son Temple to the banks of Hoan Kiem Lake stands bare.

Hanoi pedestrian zone deserted as residents vote with their feet

The purple mop around the lake, which had been attracting a lot of tourists since early January, blooms without admirers.

Hanoi pedestrian zone deserted as residents vote with their feet

At 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Dong Kinh Nghia Thuc Square, normally overcrowded with people singing, dancing and having fun in many ways, had a smattering of people.

“I am surprised on seeing such a quiet pedestrian zone at the weekend, with empty restaurants and cafes. This means that people are aware of the outbreak and are avoiding crowded places," said Duc Anh from Hoang Mai District.

Hanoi has reported a total of 13 cases in the last four days, all linked to Hai Duong Province, the country's biggest Covid-19 hotspot.

The new Covid-19 wave began last Thursday after a gap of 55 days without a single community transmission, and has spread to at least nine localities.

The latest Covid-19 wave with 238 community transmissions has come right before the Lunar New Year (Tet), Vietnam's biggest holiday which peaks on Feb. 12 this year.

 
 
go to top