Four bus routes in Can Gio District resumed operations on Tuesday, the first in Ho Chi Minh City to see a relaunch after COVID-19 restrictions in late June shuttered all bus services.
As witnessed by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper correspondents on Tuesday, passengers and bus attendants returned to suburban bus route No. 90, which connects Binh Khanh Ferry Terminal in Nha Be District to Can Thanh Town in Can Gio District, for the first time in three months.
Nguyen Thi Kim Hoa, an operator of bus service provider Transport Cooperative No. 26, bus routes No. 77, No. 90, No. 127, and No. 128, started traveling to Can Gio District from Tuesday.
“Passengers are sparse on the first day of service resumption, but drivers and staffers are glad to be able to return to work,” Hoa said.
“We all uphold epidemic safety measures, including face mask donning, disinfection, and safe distancing, while the buses only accept passengers up to 50 percent of their designed capacities."
|A bus-goer in Ho Chi Minh City puts ticket money in a box, October 5, 2021. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre|
Nguyen Thi Ngoc Ha, a bus attendant on route No. 90, said she had stayed at home to take care of her grandchildren while her job was on hold during the past three months.
“I’m delighted to see passengers once again, as I can’t stand being at home any longer,” Ha admitted.
“One of our regular passengers was in tears when she found out about the bus shutdown, which forced her to travel on foot for weeks.
“The service resumption will help people like her a lot.”
Le Thi Ha, a bus-goer from Can Gio District, said she and her husband have to travel some 60 kilometers from Can Thanh Town to Nguyen Tri Phuong Hospital in District 5 for regular check-ups.
“Going by bus is better than traveling on motorbikes since we’re old and unable to handle the traffic and weather," Ha said.
“I’m glad to be able to get on a bus again, despite having to wake up at 5:00 am to do so.”
|Posters promoting COVID-19 prevention measures on a bus in Ho Chi Minh City, October 5, 2021. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre|
Ho Chi Minh City is the hardest-hit locality in Vietnam since the beginning of its fourth virus wave on April 27, with more than 400,000 local infections and over 15,300 fatalities.
Infections have slowed down in recent times while over 6.9 million of its nearly-nine-million population have been given at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, according to the national COVID-19 vaccination portal.
City authorities had applied various social distancing levels in recent months before switching to Directive No. 18 from October 1 to continue preventing and controlling the pandemic while gradually reopening the economy.