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Morning exercise, fishing persist along Hanoi streets on first day of COVID-19 restrictions

Morning exercise, fishing persist along Hanoi streets on first day of COVID-19 restrictions

Tuesday, July 20, 2021, 15:04 GMT+7
Morning exercise, fishing persist along Hanoi streets on first day of COVID-19 restrictions
A ‘Takeaway-Only’ sign is shown on the front door of a store in Hanoi, July 19, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Many Hanoi residents were seen carrying on with their outdoor routines on Monday, flouting the heightened COVID-19 social distancing mandate that was just reintroduced in the city. 

In light of several new COVID-19 clusters that were recently discovered in the city, Hanoi authorities decided to introduce many epidemic prevention urgent measures from 0:00 am on Monday, including the closure of non-essential businesses and services, limiting public gatherings to five people, requesting a minimum distance of two meters between people, and requiring locals to stay at home unless they go out for food, medicine, or other emergencies.

As witnessed by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper correspondents, the majority of non-essential businesses in the capital city had been closed by Monday morning, while most food stalls have switched to takeaway only. 

Public spaces like lakefronts and parks have been cordoned off with signs warning against public gatherings. 

Meanwhile, functional forces are present on the streets to ensure compliance with the new measures among the communities. 

However, various non-essential stores remained open, while many residents were still spotted on the streets, showing negligence toward the new mandate.

A jogger is spotted practicing outside with his mask off in Hanoi, July 19, 2021. Photo: T.Dat / Tuoi Tre

A jogger is spotted practicing outside with his mask off in Hanoi, July 19, 2021. Photo: T.Dat / Tuoi Tre

On Monday morning, a group of customers were seen gathering to eat and banter -- many with their masks off -- in front of a new convenience store in Cau Giay District, as the facility has barred indoor dining in pursuance of Hanoi’s direction. 

At the nearby Dong Xa Market, unofficial marketplaces continued to operate on the sidewalk, posing high risks of transmission as they pulled in many people.

A section of Hang Mam Street in Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi is cordoned off after a local resident tested positive to COVID-19, July 19, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

A section of Hang Mam Street in Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi is cordoned off after a local resident tested positive for the novel coronavirus, July 19, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Non-essential stores on Hang Gai Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi are closed, July 19, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Non-essential stores on Hang Gai Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi are closed, July 19, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Customers of a food stall in Hanoi take his food from the seller, July 19, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

A customer of a food stall in Hanoi takes his food from the seller, July 19, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Ride-hailing drivers gather on Pham Hung Street, Nam Tu Liem District, Hanoi, after a social distancing mandate was introduced in the city, July 19, 2021. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

Ride-hailing drivers gather on Pham Hung Street, Nam Tu Liem District, Hanoi after a social distancing mandate was introduced in the city, July 19, 2021. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

Public gatherings were also seen near the My Dinh Bus Station on Pham Hung Street of Nam Tu Liem District, as many ride-hailing drivers grouped up to talk and pick up customers, dismissing the safety regulations in place. 

A waterfront section of West Lake in Hanoi is cordoned off, July 19, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

A waterfront section of West Lake in Hanoi is shut down, July 19, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Fishermen are seen ignoring the social distancing mandate in Hanoi, July 19, 2021. Photo: T.Dat / Tuoi Tre

Fishermen are seen ignoring the social distancing mandate in Hanoi, July 19, 2021. Photo: T.Dat / Tuoi Tre

Bicyclists are seen ignoring the social distancing mandate in Hanoi, July 19, 2021. Photo: T.Dat / Tuoi Tre

Bicyclists are seen ignoring the social distancing mandate in Hanoi, July 19, 2021. Photo: T.Dat / Tuoi Tre

At the West Lake, a favorite morning exercise spot of city dwellers, droves of joggers and fishermen could still be seen practicing, despite having been warned by local officials. 

On streets like Nguyen Khanh Toan of Cau Giay District, many beauty and fashion stores, which are not classified as essential, remained open to in-store visits on Monday morning.

Shoppers scan QR code to file a medical declaration before entering Big C Thang Long Supermarket in Cau Giay District, Hanoi, July 19, 2021. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

Shoppers scan QR codes to file a medical declaration before entering Big C Thang Long Supermarket in Cau Giay District, Hanoi, July 19, 2021. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

Shoppers gather at the grocery section Big C Thang Long Supermarket in Cau Giay District, Hanoi, July 19, 2021. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

Shoppers gather at the grocery section of Big C Thang Long Supermarket in Cau Giay District, Hanoi, July 19, 2021. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

On the same morning, Big C Thang Long Supermarket in Cau Giay District ramped up safety measures, including mandatory medical declaration via QR code or paper form, as well as body temperature checks, for all in-store shoppers. 

No grocery shortage or panic buying was reported at the store, but a safe distance of two meters as well as mandatory face mask wearing were hardly kept among the crowd at the store’s grocery section. 

“I have undergone a medical declaration and body temperature check at the entrance of the store, but crowded spots inside still made me worried,” said Cao Thi Thuy Dung, a shopper who came to the Big C supermarket on Monday morning. 

On Tuesday morning, the Ministry of Health documented 2,155 local COVID-19 infections, including 19 cases from Hanoi, raising the country’s tally to 60,180, with 11,047 recoveries and 334 deaths.

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