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Saigon Turns Buses Into Portable Malls, Bringing Veggies & Meat To Citizens’ Doorsteps

Saigon authorities use buses as portable malls

Saigon is under a strict Covid-19 social distancing policy, which means all forms of public transportation – most notably buses – have stopped operating.

But rather than letting these vehicles lying around and collecting dust, authorities have other ideas: they’ve turned buses into portable malls to carry goods straight to citizens’ doorstep.

Read on for more details on how the idea works.

The buses allow citizens to get veggies and meat without long queues at malls

buses portable malls
Image credit: Tuổi Trẻ

While Saigon authorities have been working hard to ensure the city has enough food to provide for its people, getting groceries from markets and malls isn’t always convenient. As these spots receive a large number of customers daily, shoppers often have to endure long queues, not to mention that these large crowds carry risks of infection.

buses portable malls 2
Image credit: Tuổi Trẻ

To mitigate the issue, HCMC Department of Industry and Trade has directed bus operators to turn their vehicles into portable malls, which citizens can access more easily.

Seats on the buses are removed, and they are instead loaded with packs of veggies and meat. Outside, banners are displayed showing what goods the buses have to offer and their prices.

Citizens are on board with the idea

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Image credit: Tuổi Trẻ

With this model, Saigon residents can now come to bus stops near their houses for resupply of groceries.

As a safety measure, shoppers will queue outside and recite their orders to the bus operators, who’ll bring them what they ask for and collect payment.

The idea seems to have been well-received by many citizens. “There isn’t as much variety as in supermarkets, and there’s a slight difference in prices, but it’s much more convenient,” a shopper told Tuổi Trẻ.

Stay strong and stay safe

Saigon continues to be the epicenter of the current Covid-19 outbreak in Vietnam, reporting thousands of new infections every day. In an effort to contain the outbreak, authorities are considering further tightening security measures in certain areas.

But while the numbers are admittedly concerning, it is heartening in a way to know that the city’s government is trying hard to see to the basic needs of its citizens. Yes, we probably still have a long road ahead of us before we can snuff out this outbreak, but rest assured that no one will be left behind in the fight.

So for now, let’s trust in our leaders and adhere to their directives. It’s the best we can do right now to help contribute.

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Cover image adapted from Tuổi Trẻ

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