HCMC – As the Covid-19 pandemic is raging in HCMC, with over 150 locally-infected cases reported since May 27, many southern provinces and cities have decided to suspend passenger road transport services to and from the virus-hit city starting today, May 31, until further notice.
In Dong Nai, the authorities ordered vehicles operating on fixed routes, contract cars, passenger coaches and taxis to temporarily stop traveling to/from HCMC, Hanoi, Long An, Bac Giang, Bac Ninh and other virus-hit places. Meanwhile, vehicles transporting food, operating on the request of the authorities and serving the fight against Covid-19 will remain operational.
Vehicles allowed to remain operational must not use more than 50% of their seats, not carry over 20 passengers at a time and have to comply with Covid-19 safety measures.
The provincial government of Dong Nai also ordered the suspension of religious rites and activities at pedestrian streets, parks and non-essential services including beauty salons, game shops, tourist sites, golf courses and outdoor sports activities with over 10 people.
Further, local residents were told to refrain from going out, except for essential purposes and practice anti-epidemic measures. People aged over 60 were advised to stay at home during this time.
The Mekong Delta city of Can Tho also ordered the suspension of passenger road transport services to/from virus-hit areas including HCMC, according to an announcement signed by Le Tien Dung, director of the Transport Department in Can Tho.
As for trips to other provinces and cities that have yet to be impacted by the coronavirus, vehicles operating on fixed routes, contract cars, passenger coaches and taxis were allowed to maintain operations but they must not use over 50% of their seats and not carry more than 20 people including the driver and assistants. Also, vehicles are banned from offering pick up and drop off services to passengers in virus-hit regions.
In Bac Lieu Province, the authorities decided to temporarily cease operations of passenger road transport services to/from HCMC, Long An and other affected localities starting 6 p.m. yesterday. The move comes as the disease is spreading fast, especially after the province’s Hoa Binh District has reported infections, said Pham Van Thieu, chairman of the provincial government.
Bac Lieu also restricted private vehicles from traveling to/from virus-hit regions, except for those serving the anti-coronavirus fight.
Earlier, Bac Lieu had suspended non-essential services such as fitness centers, martial arts and football clubs, massage and karaoke parlors, game shops, meetings with over 30 participants and large gatherings with over 10 people.
The Mekong Delta province added that wet markets, supermarkets and stores must practice social distancing and anti-Covid-19 measures. Also, takeaway services are encouraged.
Similarly, dozens of provinces in the south, the Central Highlands and the central region such as An Giang, Tien Giang, Ben Tre, Lam Dong, Khanh Hoa and Ninh Thuan asked passenger transport operators to stop offering services to the affected localities, including HCMC, to prevent the virus spreading.