Earlier in the week, we reported that Ho Chi Minh City’s stringent social distancing measures have extended into a third month, which includes a daily curfew from 6pm to 6am.
As a result, city centre neighbourhoods like Nguyen Thai Binh in District 1, remain deserted as Vietnam battles to gain a stranglehold on Covid-19 transmission rates.
According to VN Express, one of Vietnam’s most visited news websites, cases nationwide have reached almost 230,000.
Ho Chi Minh City has recorded close to 132,000 cases alone and remains the city with the highest caseload by a significant margin.
There’s this demilitarised-type zone where your delivery driver will drop their stuffAndy, co-host, The Bureau Podcast
In comparison, the capital Hanoi in the north, has 2,143 cases as of August 11.
During the latest Bureau Podcast, co-host Andy, who lives in the Nguyen Thai Binh neighbourhood, says the social distancing measures coupled with the curfew have silenced the area’s streets that once rung out with the deafening noises of traffic and people.
“The only thing you really hear are sirens from the ambulances running through the city,” he says. “Before Covid, it was crazy, lots of things to do, nothing really closes, and then now with the lockdowns, pretty much ever since July up until now, it’s been quiet.”
On one rare occasion that Andy made his way outside to assess the situation, he was able to walk down the middle of the street because there is no traffic, something unheard of prior to this wave.
“Yeah, that’s crazy!” says co-host Matt. “You can never walk down the street there.”
But, Andy has become increasingly concerned for his health over the past couple of weeks after receiving word that a resident in the alleyway where he lives, recently returned a positive test.
“We’re kind of locked in,” he says. “Luckily I can still get deliveries…there’s this demilitarised-type zone where your delivery driver will drop their stuff, it will get sanitised and sprayed, then they back off two metres and then you’re allowed to come in two metres to grab it and then back off. It’s crazy at the moment.”
Listen to the full podcast below.
Words by Matthew Cowan. Follow Matt on Instagram at @mattcowansaigon
Follow Melanie Casul on Instagram at @melaniecasul
Follow Andrew Tran on Instagram at @andrewtrandigital
Follow The Bureau Asia on Instagram at @thebureauasia
Follow The Bureau Asia on Facebook @thebureauasia
Join our Discord community:
Feature photo by Tuan Nguyen via Unsplash