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Saigon Has Imposed Over $50,000 in Fines so Far to Enforce Lockdown Rules

Huge amounts of fines have been levied since Directive 16 went into effect in Ho Chi Minh City.

Tuoi Tre reports that VND1.23 billion (US$53,000) in fines were collected on the first two days of the city's strict lockdown, which began at midnight last Thursday.

According to the news source, police officers and government officials throughout 21 districts and Thu Duc City booked numerous people for breaches such as not wearing a mask in public, going outside without a valid reason, gathering with more than two people, and operating non-essential businesses.

Specifically, administrative fines from district-level authorities totaled VND841 million (US$36,600), while police levied fines of VND389 million (US$16,900). Almost 900 people were warned for their social distancing violations, while over 200 were officially fined.

Over the weekend, around 300 checkpoints were set up across Ho Chi Minh City, both at entrances to the area and within districts and neighborhoods. To pass through them, drivers had to present paperwork showing that they had a valid reason to be out.

However, on Monday this created huge traffic jams, particularly in Go Vap District, and earlier today officials announced that all checkpoints would be removed, while mobile inspection teams will now check people commuting on the roads.

Ho Chi Minh City is battling by far its worst COVID-19 outbreak since the pandemic began, having logged over 16,000 community infections since late April.

[Photo by Trần Cường via Thanh Nien]