Vietnam’s state-controlled media and the social media have expressed concerns that the new regulations of the Hanoi capital government on travel documents increase congestion and contact at check-points, which can cause COVID-19 infection to raise further.
The Hanoi government on the evening of August 8 issued new regulations to “tighten” the issuance and use of travel documents amid the city’s high distance until August 23.
According to the new regulations, people traveling on the road must have 4 types of documents including travel paper according to the city’s form, citizen’s identity card or people’s identity card, duty schedule or work schedule, and assignment document of the governing body.
Reports of domestic newspapers, including Lao Dong, VOV, Channel 14, and social media posts by many people, said that the issuance of the new regulation was on Sunday night and took effect in the Monday morning is no different from “beating up“, making people “not able to react” because there is no way people can supplement documents in such a limited time frame.
Information on the press and social networks said that many people were punished by the authorities because they did not have enough documents according to the new regulations, while the checkpoints fell into “congestion hundreds of meters long” and “concentrated in large numbers.”
On his personal Facebook page, Mr. Vu Manh Cuong, a deputy director of communications at the Ministry of Health, commented that “The need to present many documents at quarantine checkpoints in Hanoi causes large crowds, create an environment that is easy to spread disease.”
Influential Facebookers such as researcher Nguyen Xuan Dien, journalist Dao Tuan, and several online forums including Patriotic Diary, Journalist and Policy also discuss this issue.
Among hundreds of comments about Hanoi’s new regulations, the majority said that in order to have enough documents, people must gather, queue, and contact many people, thus increasing the risk of infection. This risk repeats at the control points, as seen in practice, still according to online discussions.
Some people commented that Hanoi does not seem to have learned from the fact that Ho Chi Minh City has let traffic jams and crowds gather at checkpoints in June and July, and is currently suffering from traffic congestion. The spread of the disease was almost out of control.
Others compared it to a few days ago, when travel in Hanoi was smooth, the roads were deserted, and suggested that the new city regulation was “a mistake.”
Mr. Nguyen Xuan Dien and many people suggested that the capital’s leaders “review” so that the control of people on the street was really effective, there was no crowd gathering.