Life in Phu My Hung after Case 66 was reported
Despite being home to the largest Korean community in Ho Chi Minh City, Phu My Hung has not had any reported COVID-19-related cases – until yesterday.
A 21-year-old Vietnamese woman who traveled to the United States of America, Canada, and transited in Taiwan before landing at Tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, was confirmed by the Ministry of Health to have contracted COVID-19 on 17th March 2020.
Her residence – the Park View apartment building – and its surrounding stores on Nguyen Duc Canh Street, Phu My Hung (District 7) have been cordoned off.
Koreans and locals living near Nguyen Duc Canh street deeply concerned
The entire Park View apartment building is cordoned off
Residents of Pham Thai Buong Street, located just a block away from Nguyen Duc Canh Street, are also concerned about the newfound infection. Many Korean coffee shops and eateries around the area have closed as the number of visitors are expected to plummet rapidly.
Pham Thai Buong Street
Ms. G, a staff member at Coffee Laon Library, a 24-hour Korean-run library-cafe shop on Pham Thai Buong Street, shared that parents of Korean children who frequent the library to study are getting worried about letting their kids visit amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Coffee Laon Library
To show its appreciation for patrons who purchased a 1- or 3-month pass here, Coffee Laon Library will extend the pass validity until the situation blows over, and students feel comfortable coming over again.
Complimentary hand sanitizer and face masks for sale available at the reception desk
Sky Garden 3, Pham Van Nghi Street seeing fewer crowds and closed businesses
A few blocks away from Nguyen Duc Canh Street, Phu My Hung’s most vibrant commercial hub is also floundering due to the newly-issued regulations on temporary closures of entertainment hubs.
Pham Van Nghi Street
The streets are no longer filled with vehicles, while BBQ restaurants and coffee shops lining the usually crowded Pham Van Nghi Street and its surrounding areas are almost empty. Most of the people out on the streets are couriers or people living nearby.
Sky Garden 3, a building complex with the most spacious public parking space in the area, has also adopted stronger measures to prevent infected visitors from entering and to contain COVID-19 outbreaks. Anyone parking their vehicle here must have their temperature checked before they can enter the building.
“I don’t know if we can land on both our feet when this is over,” said Ms. A, a street vendor on the street of Sky Garden 3, with a sigh. “It’s no longer a matter of who survives after being tested positive, but also who can sustain through this period when the monthly rent does not go down while our revenues continue to take a downturn.”
A massage parlor and chicken restaurant have shut down
The streets surrounding Sky Garden 3, once lined up with Korean-run businesses and clubs such as martial art clubs, massage shops, hair spas, fashion stores, are seeing more shops closing down.
Crescent Mall sees a nearly empty food court
Crescent Mall, the largest shopping center in the south of Ho Chi Minh City, is now emptier than ever. This is a stark contrast to the hubbub it used to be during lunchtime, when office workers from surrounding buildings would flock over daily for lunch and shopping.
Its spacious food court now sees only a handful of executives working in the center and a couple of families living nearby.
Most of the floors are devoid of visitors
The CGV cinema on the same floor is now closed, thanks to the recently imposed social distancing measures by the government.
Take precautions to keep safe
So far, Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City, in particular, have been doing a good job at containing the outbreak. But everyone should also pull their weight in this battle by taking precautions for their own sake.
Staying home as much as you can, wearing face masks while in public, and washing your hands often are some of the measures that you should take to keep yourself out of harm’s way.
When this blows over, we hope to see you out and about. When that time comes, check out our articles for ultimate guides to Saigon and Hanoi here:
Cover image and all images in this article by The Smart Local Vietnam.