Vietnam has been facing the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic since April. Fifteen people, including a seven-year-old boy, were found in a refrigerated truck while trying to escape from the coronavirus-stricken and locked-down areas of Saigon towards the center of the country. “We knew that driving in a closed refrigerator was a huge risk, but if we got infected with the virus, we would be in greater danger,” said one of the men traveling in the truck.
Restrictive restrictions on social and economic life in Vietnam have been in place for months in about a third of the country, including the capital city of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh – the largest city and financial center. The inhabitants of the latter are not allowed to leave their homes since the second half of August, and food is provided by soldiers and volunteers.
The army is guarding the complete lockdown on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City. As reported by people in the city, the thoroughfares are almost completely empty, while smaller streets are closed with barriers and barriers. The authorities suspended transport links – both land and air – between the south and north of the country. In total, tens of millions of people in Vietnam of nearly one hundred million cannot leave their homes.
Escape from a pandemic in a closed cold store
On Sunday, police officers in Bing Thuan province stopped a suspicious vehicle that was trying to bypass one of the road checkpoints. It turned out that, in addition to the driver, fifteen passengers were illegally traveling in the refrigerated truck.
According to the online magazine Phap Luat, the car, which was driven from the industrial province of Dong Nai, had traveled several dozen kilometers before being stopped. The province has over 35,000 cases of coronavirus infections and hundreds of deaths among COVID-19 patients. There has been a total lockdown there since the beginning of July.
The escapees explained that they wanted to get to their hometowns in the center of Vietnam. – We knew that driving in a closed refrigerator was a huge risk, but if we were infected with the virus, we would be in greater danger – a man who tried to get out of the affected province told the portal with his seven-year-old son.
Police informed that all passengers had certificates confirming negative coronavirus test results.
So far, just over five percent of the country’s population has been vaccinated against the coronavirus. Vietnamese immunization programs are slowest in the entire Southeast Asia region.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / LUONG THAI LINH