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Ho Chi Minh city left deserted during nationwide social isolation

08:11 | 07/04/2020

Life pace in the bustling city of Ho Chi Minh in Southern Vietnam has radically changed since the COVID-19 pandemic brokes out. The city turns quiet and deserted after the two-week-long nationwide social isolation starts. 

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Ho Chi Minh city, familiar with locals as Sai Gon, is Vietnam's largest city and economic powerhouse. Famous for its daily vibrant life, with crowded shopping malls, entertainment centers, high-end restaurants, rustic food stalls, night-life clubs, etc., or even crowded street during rush hours, the city puts on a different charm with the advent of COVID-19, especially when the government announced the nationwide social isolation starting April 1.

ho chi minh city left deserted during nationwide social isolation

The roundabout at intersection 6, Phu Dong, District 1 – the intersection of 6 major roads in the city center – hardly has any vehicles milling around. This is a totally different picture from normal days when the area is packed with millions of people passing by. (Photo courtesy of Giang Son Dong/ VnExpress)

ho chi minh city left deserted during nationwide social isolation

Pigeons fly past Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee headquarters on April 2 morning. The headquarters, built between 1898-1909 is one of the classic, iconic architectural works of the city. On non-isolated days, it is frequented by flocks of people. (Photo courtesy of Giang Son Dong/ VnExpress)

ho chi minh city left deserted during nationwide social isolation

Located next to the Office the Notre Dame Cathedral, District 1, Sai Gon Central Post Office was a drawing destination for foreign tourists before the advent of COVID-19. However, the post office is seemingly putting on another look, which is much quieter and looks a little strange.

The place is also one of the typical architectural works, built between 1886 and 1891. (Photo courtesy of Giang Son Dong/ VnExpress)

ho chi minh city left deserted during nationwide social isolation

One janitor at a construction site next to Benh Thanh Market on April 3. Food stalls around the areas have all closed since March 27, turning the normally crowded market into a sparse place. Some retailers stick a “Stop selling until April ends” post outside to notify buyers. (Photo courtesy of Giang Son Dong/ VnExpress)

ho chi minh city left deserted during nationwide social isolation

Tran Phu street, District 5 was scattered with vehicles on April 3. Saigon’s air on COVID-19 days is way cleaner as there is less transportation on the street. (Photo courtesy of Giang Son Dong/ VnExpress)

ho chi minh city left deserted during nationwide social isolation

Nguyen An Ninh street looked deserted on April 3 (Photo courtesy of Giang Son Dong/ VnExpress)

ho chi minh city left deserted during nationwide social isolation

City Theater Square (left) and the five-star Caravelle Hotel sparkled on April 3 night. Not a single passenger is seen on the street. (Photo courtesy of Giang Son Dong/ VnExpress)

ho chi minh city left deserted during nationwide social isolation

Earlier on March 26, the Landmark 81 lit up with the symbol of Vietnam, spreading the sharing and beliefs towards the medical personnel and others who are fighting round the clock in the frontline against COVID-19. The small lightboxes assemble into a big heart, symbolizing Vietnamese people’s solidarity and belief in winning the disease.

“Each photo captures one memorable moment of a quiet, yet loveable Saigon combating the COVID-19 pandemic. The #StayAtHome campaign turns the streets way quieter, but in turn, the city’s environment, like in other world’s corners, is enjoying a rewarding improvement. However, no one wants this epidemic to last”, photographer Giang Son Dong who takes those photos, shared with VnExpress. (Photo courtesy of Giang Son Dong/ VnExpress)

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Translated by Jasmine Le

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