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Hanoi’s have-nots back to daily grind as social distancing relaxed

Saturday, April 25, 2020, 21:11 GMT+7
Hanoi’s have-nots back to daily grind as social distancing relaxed
Kham, 62, is seen pushing his cart selling accessories along Cau Giay Street in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

People in Hanoi, including street vendors and scrap dealers, are now back on the capital’s streets to make a living after three weeks practicing social distancing to curb the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Wednesday decided to ease social distancing measures that had been in place since April 1 in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City as the country has seen a slower infection rate of COVID-19 since early this month.

Kham, a 62-year-old street vendor, was spotted on Friday pushing his self-made four-wheeled cart around Hanoi, hoping to sell some pairs of socks or hammocks, after a long penniless “break” from his work owing to COVID-19.

“I paced the entire Cau Giay Street but business was slow [as] people still did not want to go outside because of the rain despite the social distancing mandate being relaxed,” Kham expressed.

Although the rain that lasted from late Thursday night until Friday morning had made it harder for people who make a living on the street like Kham to go about their business, they were still happy to be back at work.

“As we are allowed to go out, I’ve immediately got back to my daily job,” said Lam, a 53-year-old scrap dealer, while scavenging scraps from garbage on Doi Can Street in Ba Dinh District.

“I have to do this though it’s still raining,” she added.

Lam shared she could earn around VN20,000-30,000 (US$0.85-1.28) a day doing what she does, which could afford a dinner for two with “rice and foodstuffs” for her and her husband.

“I stayed at home all day during the social distancing period, so we lost our only source of income and could only afford one simple meal a day,” she said.

Vietnam has confirmed 270 COVID-19 cases to date, with 45 still in treatment.

The country reported no new infections on Saturday.

Five patients, including a Danish woman and four Vietnamese citizens, were released from the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi on the same day.

Lam, 53, cycles with scraps she scavenged from garbage bins on Doi Can Street in Ba Dinh District, Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre
Lam, 53, cycles with scraps she scavenged from garbage bins on Doi Can Street in Ba Dinh District, Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre
A street vendor takes shelter from the rain as she’s back on the street to make a living after COVID-19 social distancing measures were relaxed in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre
A street vendor takes shelter from the rain as she’s back on the street to make a living after COVID-19 social distancing measures were relaxed in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre
A woman takes a nap while selling fruits on the street after COVID-19 social distancing measures were relaxed in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre
A woman takes a nap while selling fruits on the street after COVID-19 social distancing measures were relaxed in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre
Kim Anh, a street vendor, is back on the street to make a living after COVID-19 social distancing measures were relaxed in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre
Kim Anh, a street vendor, is back on the street to make a living after COVID-19 social distancing measures were relaxed in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre
Food delivery workers queue in front of a restaurant in Hanoi, Vietnam after COVID-19 social distancing measures were relaxed in the capital city. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre
Food delivery workers queue in front of a restaurant in Hanoi, Vietnam after COVID-19 social distancing measures were relaxed in the capital city. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

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