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Northern Vietnamese city imposes curfew, sets up checkpoints as COVID-19 cases soar

Northern Vietnamese city imposes curfew, sets up checkpoints as COVID-19 cases soar

Tuesday, May 25, 2021, 12:28 GMT+7
Northern Vietnamese city imposes curfew, sets up checkpoints as COVID-19 cases soar
A signboard warning of a checkpoint for COVID-19 prevention and control is erected on a road leading to Bac Ninh City in Bac Ninh Province, Vietnam, May 25, 2021. Photo: Chi Tue / Tuoi Tre

Authorities in Bac Ninh City, the capital of the namesake northern Vietnamese province, on Tuesday morning implemented a nighttime curfew and other travel restrictions by establishing 115 checkpoints to curb the rapid spread of the coronavirus.

People in Bac Ninh City are banned from going outside after 8:00 pm. 

Only workers performing official duties, sending people to emergency wards, going to night shifts, or returning home from work, with relevant papers such as cards and certifications proving their purposes are allowed to travel in the evenings. 

People are also urged to stay at home and only make necessary trips to buy food and medicine, to hospitals for emergency treatment, to workplaces which are factories, production facilities, or service establishments that produce and trade essential goods, or in other cases of emergency.

Households are requested to keep a distance from households, villages from villages, communes from communes, and wards from wards.

From 6:00 am on Tuesday, 115 checkpoints have been set up across the city to monitor people’s traveling for COVID-19 prevention and control.

Functional forces at the checkpoints will prevent people from virus-hit areas clarified in the Ministry of Health’s list from entering Bac Ninh.

Those who have reasonable purposes to enter the city must be quarantined according to regulations.

The functional forces will also examine pandemic prevention and control measures on vehicles permitted to the city according to regulations. 

Passengers transport activities by contract cars, ridesharing cars, and taxis are prohibited from going into the city.

Only vehicles carrying goods and agricultural products from virus-clear areas are allowed to enter the city.

Vehicles carrying goods and agricultural products from virus-hit areas can go through the checkpoints to the city with only one driver, who has no symptoms of coughing or fever, tested negative for the virus within the previous three days, and must return immediately after delivery instead of staying overnight in Bac Ninh City. 

Workers traveling in personal vehicles must present an employee card issued by their employers, or a personal document with a portrait photo and an employment contract.

In order to avoid traffic congestion, vehicles that fail to prove their eligibility to pass through the checkpoints shall be rejected.

The measures took place from Tuesday and will remain in place until further direction from local authorities.

The new restrictions come as Bac Ninh Province is struggling with a rapid increase of COVID-19 cases together with northern Bac Giang Province.

Bac Ninh alone has recorded 507 local cases between April 27, when the first community-based infection in the current wave was detected, and Tuesday morning, according to the Ministry of Health.

The provincial authorities have implemented social distancing rules in seven out of its eight cities, towns, and districts, except for Gia Binh District.

Infections have spread to both industrial parks and in the community in the province as about 4,000 people hailing from Bac Ninh commute to Bac Giang, which is also a hub of industrial parks, for work every day.

Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long on Monday called for support for Bac Ninh and Bac Giang from other localities, saying that the number of infections in the two provinces is expected to continue to surge in the next few days.

Vietnam has registered 5,461 COVID-19 cases, including 3,975 domestic infections, since the virus first emerged in the country on January 23, 2020, according to Ministry of Health statistics.

Recoveries have reached 2,794 whereas 44 patients have died, most having suffered critical pre-existing health problems.

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