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As Vietnam's Streets Turn Empty During Pandemic, Traffic Violations Surge

Despite the nation's positive results in containing Covid-19, a grim byproduct of Vietnam’s stay-at-home orders and social distancing campaigns was identified earlier this week.

As Vietnam has seen Covid-19 cases drop off over the past few days, a directive from the National Traffic Safety Committee (NTSC) found that in some areas, road accidents and traffic-related deaths have spiked during the pandemic, according to Saigon Giai Phong.

The trend seems to be particularly acute for large urban areas that typically see high levels of traffic. The NTSC blamed the increase in accidents on city streets being quieter in recent weeks, leading drivers to behave more carelessly and at faster speeds than normal.

Though data was not available for Hanoi, the NTSC report found that in Saigon, March saw traffic accidents increase by 33%, with 46% more road fatalities, compared to the same time period last year.

Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh, who is also the chairman of the NTSC, criticized those who caused such accidents during a time when the country is waging a public health battle with Covid-19, stating that violators “must be condemned and punished in accordance with the harshest sanctions of the law,” reports Tuoi Tre.

He also informed all authorities involved with virus control to work alongside traffic police to ensure traffic-related enforcement and fines are rolled into the larger Covid-19 prevention measures.

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