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COVID-19 checkpoints in Saigon jammed on second morning of social distancing

COVID-19 checkpoints in Saigon jammed on second morning of social distancing

Tuesday, June 01, 2021, 11:29 GMT+7
COVID-19 checkpoints in Saigon jammed on second morning of social distancing
Vehicles go in total disarray after a COVID-19 checkpoint was suspended and open to traffic on Nguyen Kiem Street in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, June 1, 2021. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

COVID-19 checkpoints at the gateways to Go Vap District in Ho Chi Minh City became severely congested on Tuesday morning as all commuters were required to present their personal documents in order to enter or exit the district.

The checkpoint on Hoang Minh Giam Street had to be suspended at around 8:00 am to ease the traffic congestion that started at about 6:30 am and stretched a few kilometers.

At other checkpoints on Pham Van Dong, Phan Van Tri, and Quang Trung Streets, commuters faced similar gridlock as only three to four uniformed officers had to inspect every single person through the roadblock.

The checkpoint on Quang Trung Street was also temporarily closed and let all vehicles through at around 7:10 am.

Go Vap authorities set up a total of ten checkpoints across the district after a decision issued by the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday had placed it and Thanh Loc Ward in nearby District 12 in enhanced social distancing under the prime minister’s Directive No. 16 for 15 days, from 0:00 am on Monday.

Go Vap and Thanh Loc have become the city’s two hot spots of COVID-19 due to numerous direct links to the infections at Revival Ekklesia Mission, a Christian congregation based in the district, which have sent the city’s caseload soaring in recent days.

Regarding entry into and exits from Go Vap, people must show their e-medical declarations, related personal documents, and papers confirming they are working for companies located in the district while having their body temperature measured at the checkpoints.

A commuter shows a ‘travel pass’ to be allowed to pass a COVID-19 checkpoint in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, June 1, 2021. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

A commuter shows a ‘travel pass’ to be allowed to pass a COVID-19 checkpoint in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, June 1, 2021. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Tran Minh Hoang, a resident of Go Vap, complained that “the procedure was too cumbersome,” making people wait so long to pass the checkpoints.

Facing the congestion on Tuesday morning, Hoang decided to turn his motorbike around, saying he would temporarily take half a month off from work.

Many commuters agreed with Hoang’s complaint, criticizing that such manual procedure is both unwieldy and unsafe as it caused congregations that create high risk of virus transmission.

Tuesday morning was the second straight morning that the checkpoints in Go Vap District had been seriously congested.

Traffic congestion also occurred at these checkpoints on Monday morning, the first day of the social distancing implementation, prompting the district authorities to suspend them, saying they would resume their operations from Tuesday.

The Ministry of Health confirmed 111 new COVID-19 cases nationwide on Tuesday morning, all domestically detected, of which 51 were in Ho Chi Minh City.

The new infections have taken Vietnam’s tally of patients to 7,432, including 47 deaths, since the pandemic appeared in the country in early 2020.

Since April 27, when the pandemic’s fourth wave began in Vietnam, 4,357 infections have been documented across the Southeast Asian country.

In Ho Chi Minh City, 208 community cases have been confirmed in this wave, most traced to the Revival Ekklesia Mission.

Traffic congestion at a COVID-19 checkpoint on Phan Van Tri Street in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, June 1, 2021. Photo: Duc Phu / Tuoi Tre

Traffic congestion at a COVID-19 checkpoint on Phan Van Tri Street in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, June 1, 2021. Photo: Duc Phu / Tuoi Tre

A volunteer handles traffic congestion at a COVID-19 checkpoint on Quang Trung Street in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, June 1, 2021. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tuoi Tre

A volunteer handles traffic congestion at a COVID-19 checkpoint on Quang Trung Street in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, June 1, 2021. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tuoi Tre

A police officer checks the personal documents of commuters at a COVID-19 checkpoint in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, June 1, 2021. Photo: Duc Phu / Tuoi Tre

A police officer checks the personal documents of commuters at a COVID-19 checkpoint in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, June 1, 2021. Photo: Duc Phu / Tuoi Tre

A woman helps a man perform a health declaration on his mobile phone as required to be allowed to pass a COVID-19 checkpoint in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, June 1, 2021. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

A woman helps a man perform health declaration on his mobile phone as required to be allowed to pass a COVID-19 checkpoint in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, June 1, 2021. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Officials handle traffic congestion at a COVID-19 checkpoint on Quang Trung Street in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, June 1, 2021. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tuoi Tre

Officials handle traffic congestion at a COVID-19 checkpoint on Quang Trung Street in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, June 1, 2021. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tuoi Tre

A commuter scans a QR code to perform a health declaration on a mobile phone as required to be allowed to pass a COVID-19 checkpoint in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, June 1, 2021. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

A commuter scans a QR code to perform health declaration on a mobile phone as required to be allowed to pass a COVID-19 checkpoint in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, June 1, 2021. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Traffic congestion at a COVID-19 checkpoint on Hoang Minh Giam Street in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, June 1, 2021. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Traffic congestion at a COVID-19 checkpoint on Hoang Minh Giam Street in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, June 1, 2021. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

An aerial view of traffic congestion at a COVID-19 checkpoint at the intersection of Pham Van Dong - Phan Van Tri Streets in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, June 1, 2021. Photo: T.P. / Tuoi Tre

An aerial view of traffic congestion at a COVID-19 checkpoint at the intersection of Pham Van Dong - Phan Van Tri Streets in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, June 1, 2021. Photo: T.P. / Tuoi Tre

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