As the current epicenter of Vietnam’s worst outbreak, with over 8,000 cases recorded since April 27, Ho Chi Minh City will go into broad lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus.
A few moments from now, at exactly 0:00 on July 9, the nine million people in the city will be mandated to stay at home for 15 days under Directive 16.
This is the second time that the city is imposing a citywide campaign. The first was a 22-day period in April last year.
HCMC chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong said, "Fighting the pandemic is fighting the enemy," and for the community to be able to fight this invisible enemy, each one must follow the specifics of the directive.
When are you allowed to go out?
One can only go out for essential trips such as buying food supplies, medicines, and emergency care items. Everyone is encouraged to stay home and sanitize as often as possible.
Leaving the city is also not allowed unless it’s for emergency purposes.
Only people on duty at military units, anti-epidemic units, offices, and those in charge of supplying essential goods or dealing with classified documents are allowed to leave their homes and go to their respective workplaces.
No more than two people can gather at public places apart from workplaces, schools, or hospitals.
What’s open and what’s closed?
Essential services remain open but must maintain tighter regulations. Chairman Phong affirmed that the city has enough supply of goods and measures to distribute goods and that there’s no need to panic.
Production facilities, traffic and construction works, establishments providing essential products such as food, pharmaceuticals, gasoline, electricity, water, banks, treasuries, service providers directly related to banking activities, postal, telecommunications, transportation support services, as well as import and export services, medical examination and treatment, and funerals are allowed to continue operating. Fire and disaster prevention departments remain open.
Public passenger transport by car is temporarily suspended except for the transport of officials, managers, experts, workers, and a number of taxis carrying people to and from hospitals and medical centers in case of emergency.
Operation of ride-hailing services, as well as traditional motorbike taxis, are also temporarily suspended. Travel to other localities is not permitted.
The city is also restricting or suspending air and rail transport services to and from HCMC. Saigon Railways has announced to suspend picking up and dropping off passengers in HCMC during the social distancing period.
Also note that essential delivery services are allowed, including pet food supplies.
How to keep yourself safe when outside?
When it’s necessary to go out, always observe the 5K rules. A safe distance of at least two meters from each other, wearing of face masks and frequent disinfection must be practiced at all times. Gathering of more than two people is also not allowed in public places.