The 15-day lockdown prohibits gathering more than two people in public places in this city of 8 million people.
Vietnam has implemented a 15-day lockdown in the capital, Hanoi, in response to the surge in coronavirus infections.
A lockdown order issued late Friday prohibits more than two people from gathering in public. Only government offices, hospitals and basic enterprises are allowed to remain open.
After the lockdown took effect on Saturday, the usually bustling city center of 8 million people was empty and shops were closed, although people could still be seen on the streets of the capital’s suburbs.
Agence France-Presse quoted local resident Nguyen Van Chien as saying: “I think Hanoi people agree with me that the city suddenly decided to block the city.”
He added: “We must take economic risks to fight the pandemic.”
Earlier this week, the authorities suspended all outdoor activities in Hanoi and ordered the closure of non-essential businesses after the increase in cases.
On Friday, Hanoi reported 70 confirmed cases of infection, the highest in the city and part of the country’s record of 7,295 cases in the past 24 hours.
Nearly 5,000 of them were from the southern part of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s largest metropolis, which also extended the lockdown period to August 1.
“I stayed indoors for a month. The situation in our city is terrible,” Le Bich Thanh, a resident, told AFP.
Approximately one third of Vietnam’s 100 million population is already subject to the lockdown order.
In the latest wave of COVID-19 since April, Vietnam has recorded more than 83,000 infections and 335 deaths.
The National Assembly meeting with 499 delegates in Hanoi on Tuesday is underway, although the meeting was shortened from the original 17 days to 12 days.
According to the National Assembly, the delegates have been vaccinated, tested for coronavirus regularly, traveled in bubbles, and were quarantined in hotels.
Due to the successful control of the virus during the first wave of the pandemic, Vietnam was one of the few economies last year.
However, the procurement and management of vaccines are progressing slowly, and only nearly 4.5 million doses have been vaccinated so far. It is also developing its own vaccine, and the authorities said they hope to achieve herd immunity by early 2022.
Vietnam’s policy is to allow all virus carriers to be hospitalized, which puts tremendous pressure on medical staff and hospitals, despite the cancellation of this rule in some areas.