Hà Nội amid Covid-19: quiet streets, market entrance tickets, zero đồng market, and mass vaccination


The Covid-19 situation in Vietnam has become more serious with increasing infection cases since late April 2021. Hồ Chí Minh City (HCMC) is a notable example of the Covid crisis in the country. The long period of social distancing and the significant increase in Covid cases (>1000 cases/day in almost one month from now, more than 108,000 cases with ca. 1890 deaths, accounting for the majority of Covid infections and deaths in Vietnam since 27.04.2021) have caused a considerable stress to healthcare facilities. Additionally, many vulnerable people, especially migrant workers, street vendors, have faced financial and accommodation difficulties. In July, many of those left Covid-struck HCMC to return home. The city has tightened the Covid control by imposing a partial curfew from 18:00 to 6:00 since July 26.

To prevent the worse or similar situation, on 24th July, Hà Nội applied a stringent social distancing for 14 days, although the average number of daily Covid cases in the city is not critical. As a result, dynamic and busy streets become quiet with closed shops and much less traffic.

Tràng Tiền street on the morning of 2nd August. Source & Photo: https://thethaovanhoa.vn/

Phạm Ngọc Thạch street was almost empty on the morning of 2nd August. Source & Photo: https://thethaovanhoa.vn/

Besides, traditional markets have adopted several methods to comply with social distancing measures. Examples of these are market entrance tickets and plastic screens. The market entrance tickets allocate a specific time frame to buy food. Those approaches have been applied in other provinces, e.g., Bắc Ninh during its Covid-19 outbreak in the late April; Đà Nẵng, Hồ Chí Minh City, and many other provinces in the South, which are currently also imposing in strict social distancing or lockdown.

Market entrance tickets

Plastic screens to ensure distance in Triều Khúc market

Other street shops and stores in the city also apply various approaches to remain social distancing. Most often, manual rope-like barriers are created.

A store in Trần Xuân Soạn street creates a manual belt barrier to remain social distancing. Source & Photo: https://dantri.com.vn

Amid social distancing, many people face difficulties, “zero đồng mini-supermarket” has initiated to support the poor, vulnerable, and students who are stuck in dormitories.

First “zero đồng mini-supermarket” at the location of People’s Committee of Tôn Đức Thắng ward in Hà Nội. Source & Photo: http://baochinhphu.vn/

Since the new Covid-19 wave from the late April 2021 until now (i.e., 14:30, 5th Aug), Hà Nội has nearly 1,700 cases. Of which, 60% are community infections and more than 50% are generated since the newest social distancing from 24th July.

Progress of Covid-19 cases in Hà Nội since the latest outbreak in the late April 2021. Source & Chart: https://vnexpress.net, accessed at 14:30, 05.08.2021

The city has recently started mass vaccination campaigns for its residents with three types of vaccines including AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Moderna. Presently, more than 780,000 people in Hà Nội (ca. 8% of its population) have been vaccinated, only 7% of those (ca. 0.6% of Hà Nội’s population) are fully vaccinated. Hà Nội ranks the second position, after Hồ Chí Minh City, according to the number of people vaccinated in Vietnam. Currently, about 7% of Vietnam’s population have been vaccinated and 0.8% are fully vaccinated.

Residents from streets of Hàng Trống, Cửa Nam, Trần Hưng Đạo, and Hàng Bông waited for vaccination at a kindergarten in Thợ Nhộm street, on the morning of 28th July. Source & Photo: https://e.vnexpress.net

Sources & further information: “Số liệu Covid-19 Việt Nam” at https://vnexpress.net, “Số liệu vaccine Việt Nam” at https://vnexpress.net, “Hà Nội applies stricter social distancing measures under Directive 16” https://vietnamnews.vn, “Đường phố Hà Nội vắng vẻ ngày đầu tuần” at https://thethaovanhoa.vn, “Hanoi Markets Use Creative Ideas to Protect People During Pandemic” at https://vietnamtimes.org.vn, “Hanoi markets adopt precautions against Covid” at https://e.vnexpress.net, “Hà Nội mở siêu thị 0 đồng, sẻ chia khó khăn với người dân” at http://baochinhphu.vn, “Hà Nội’s first ‘zero đồng mini supermarket’ goes online” at https://vietnamnews.vn, “Hanoi begins mass Covid-19 vaccination campaign“ at https://e.vnexpress.net, “Coronavirus cases ‘plateau’ in HCMC” at https://e.vnexpress.net, “Samaritans help struggling HCMC migrant workers return home” at https://e.vnexpress.net, “Covid critical cases and fatalities now HCMC’s major problem: Party official” at https://e.vnexpress.net, “Today’s Covid News: Partial curfew in HCMC from tomorrow evening” at http://hanoitimes.vn, and “CSGT xuống đường bảo vệ người dân về quê tránh dịch, việc làm chưa từng có” at https://dantri.com.vn, accessed on 5 August 2021.