AFP, Posted on Friday, July 30, 2021 at 07:27 AM.
Roadblocks, food stamps, restrictions of all kinds: The corona virus outbreak reminds the older generation of Hanoi of some dark pages in Vietnam history.
The capital has been closed for almost a week. Except for special reasons, its eight million people have been ordered to stay at home, and must be at least two meters away to prevent epidemics from hitting the country.
Hundreds of checkpoints have been set up in the city to check the reasons for the displacement. “It reminds me of what it was like in colonial times,” Tran van Done, 70, told AFP.
To avoid very large crowds, food stamps are distributed, allowing one to shop at the nearest market to his home and only on a specific day.
From the end of the Vietnam War in 1975 until the start of economic reforms in 1986, “This is exactly what we had when the economy was subsidized.
The country then leaves everything and distributes ration tickets for rice, meat, vegetables and other basic necessities.
Today, these coupons are “a good idea to help maintain the social space (…) but I can no longer go to the market when I want to”, do the lawn on, after buying enough tofu, and beef for several days to feed the family.
“We want this crisis to end quickly so that our lives can return to normal,” says the kindergarten teacher, who said schools have been closed since May.
Most residents obey the rules, but queues of vehicles are still visible on the streets in case of an emergency.
Bun The High Yen, an officer assigned to a checkpoint, sighs that many offices and companies “provide travel documents to their employees and do not comply with recommendations for working online.”
Because of this, “the risk of spreading Govt-19 is even higher”.
In recent days, according to data provided by the authorities, several thousand residents of the capital have been fined for leaving without a permit, without a mask or for renovations.
Vietnam, which was able to cross the 2020 milestone with a small number of cases, today appears to be vulnerable due to the slowdown in the vaccine campaign – as are many of its neighbors.
Only 5.3 million doses were given to 100 million people.
One-third of the population is subject to travel restrictions.
Residents of Ho Chi Minh City, the country’s economic heart, have been particularly affected by the epidemic and have been under curfew since the beginning of July.