'Cannot Go Freely': Checkpoints Shape Life In Locked-down Hanoi
Muhammad Irfan 2 months ago Fri 30th July 2021 | 11:40 AM
Hanoi, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 30th Jul, 2021 ) :As Covid-19 cases soar in Vietnam, hundreds of checkpoints have sprung up to enforce a strict lockdown in the capital Hanoi -- where even grocery trips are restricted.
In contrast to many of its Southeast Asian neighbours, who are also suffering through their worst-ever wave of the pandemic, Vietnam is rigorously enforcing stay-at-home rules in several major cities.
For many in the capital, restrictions on movement are an irritating, but necessary, measure.
With shopping trips limited, and the day of the week she's allowed to go mandated by authorities, she made sure she bought plenty of tofu, beef and vegetables.
"Shopping tickets help maintain social distancing," Lan Anh told AFP. "The disadvantage is: I cannot go to the market anytime I want." While the majority of virus cases are in Ho Chi Minh City, the government is taking steps to prevent a similar outbreak in Hanoi, which reported only 46 of about 7,500 cases nationwide on Thursday.
Hanoi, a city of eight million people, was ordered into lockdown for two weeks on Saturday. The streets, usually humming with the calls of street sellers and the honking of motorbike horns, are largely quiet.
For some older Hanoi residents, the controls have conjured up difficult memories of the post-war years.
Toan said the situation reminded him of inter-provincial security checkpoints before 1954, when Hanoi was under French colonial rule.
"It's very inconvenient for movements indeed. But I support the authorities as it will help prevent the spread of the virus", Toan added.
More than a third of the population has been forced to stay home as the country battles an outbreak that began in April in two northern industrial provinces and has since spread south.
"Many offices and companies ... issue travel papers to their staff. They have not adhered to the city's recommendation of online working from home," said Phan Thi Hai Yen, while staffing a checkpoint.
"With this big number of people moving at rush hour ... the risk of Covid-19 spread is still high."