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Ho Chi Minh City penalizes passenger buses for flouting COVID-19 curbs

Ho Chi Minh City penalizes passenger buses for flouting COVID-19 curbs

Thursday, May 27, 2021, 16:07 GMT+7
Ho Chi Minh City penalizes passenger buses for flouting COVID-19 curbs
Traffic police scrutinize COVID-19 prevention measures on a passenger bus entering Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Minh Hoa / Tuoi Tre

Within 11 days from May 15, dozens of passenger buses operating in Ho Chi Minh City were found breaching COVID-19 prevention mandates, said inspectors of the municipal Department of Transport.

Most violations were detected at entrances to the city, namely the gateways on Ho Chi Minh City – Long Thanh – Dau Giay Expressway and 1A National Expressway. 

On 12:00 am on May 15, the local Department of Transport cooperated with the municipal traffic police bureau in establishing checkpoints at these gateways. 

Officials were mobilized to perform medical screening, detect illegal entrants, and ensure adherence to regulations on COVID-19 prevention, including mandatory health declaration and mask donning, on passenger coaches entering the city. 

Since the mission started, officers at the checkpoints have screened a total of 21,851 people on 6,629 vehicles. 

They have booked more than 10 vehicles found with guideline violations and exacted VND75 million (US$3,238) from them. 

Several of these buses surpassed the cap of 20 passengers on board, therefore breaking the city’s COVID-19 prevention rules, officials said.

Passengers and bus operators should strictly comply with official guidelines, including face mask wearing, social distancing, and constant disinfection, to prevent COVID-19 spread, said an inspector of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Transport.

Officers at a COVID-19 checkpoint in Ho Chi Minh City book a bus operator for violations of coronavirus prevention guidelines. Photo: Minh Thanh / Tuoi Tre

Officers at a COVID-19 checkpoint in Ho Chi Minh City book a bus operator for violations of coronavirus prevention guidelines. Photo: Minh Thanh / Tuoi Tre

The checkpoints will continue working 24/7 over the next days to ensure monitoring on city-bound traffic and beef up coronavirus containment. 

Each of these checkpoints has four traffic police officers on duty around the clock, according to Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Van Binh, deputy head of the road and railway police unit under the city’s public security department.

During peak hours, random checks of vehicles will be conducted, but at other times, all means of transport will be inspected.

Vietnam has been fighting the COVID-19 pathogen’s re-emergence since April 27, with 3,052 community transmissions having been reported in 30 out of 63 provinces and cities.

Vietnam has detected 6,111 cumulative COVID-19 cases, including 4,621 local infections, since the virus emerged in the country on January 23, 2020, according to the Ministry of Health’s data.

Eleven patients have been recorded in Ho Chi Minh City in this bout, the municipal Center for Disease Control said on Thursday.

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