Chaos ensues at HCMC market Covid test site

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Thousands of people gathered at Binh Dien market to test for Covid-19, neglecting social distancing measures due to the large number of people present.

The mass testing was organized after the market became a major coronavirus hotspot, recording dozens of Covid-19 cases. As of Tuesday morning, the market has been closed down to prevent further infections.

Phan Thanh Tan, director of the market's management board, said the board had cooperated with authorities to test every merchant and vendor entering and exiting the market from 4 p.m. to 5 a.m. the next day. Only those who test negative for the coronavirus within the last four days are allowed to leave.

"Mass testing helps the market to screen for infections, ensuring safety," he said, adding the activity would last two weeks, with two testing sessions each week.

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On Monday, around 2,000 traders from Binh Dien Market in District 8 of Ho Chi Minh City flocked to be tested for Covid-19.

Mass testing was staged after the market became a major coronavirus hotspot, recording dozens of Covid-19 cases. Since Tuesday morning, the market has been closed to prevent further infections.

Phan Thanh Tan, director of the market management board, said the board cooperated with authorities to test every trader and seller entering and exiting the market from 4 p.m. to 5 a.m. the next day. Only those who have tested negative for the coronavirus in the past four days are allowed to leave.

“Mass testing helps the market detect infections, ensuring safety,” he said, adding that the activity would last for two weeks, with two testing sessions each week.

Chaos ensues at HCMC market Covid test sitePersonnel of the market's management board reminded people to maintain order and stay away from each other, but due to the sheer number of those involved, large gatherings were unavoidable.

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Market board staff reminded people to keep order and stay away from each other, but due to the large number of people involved, large gatherings were inevitable.

Chaos ensues at HCMC market Covid test siteA medical worker takes swab samples from a woman to test for Covid-19. As of 3 p.m. Monday, around 2,000 people have been tested.

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A medical worker takes swabs from a woman to test for Covid-19. As of 3 p.m. Monday, around 2,000 people had been tested.

Chaos ensues at HCMC market Covid test siteAt 3 p.m., people got their test results back via announcements.

"Medical personnel on-site were too few to ensure people kept their distance," according to a medic at the scene.

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At 3 p.m., people picked up their test results via announcements.

“There were too few medical staff on site to make sure people kept their distance,” said a doctor at the scene.

Chaos ensues at HCMC market Covid test siteAt a market gate, hundreds of merchants wait for their test results. Most wear masks, though many failed to apply appropriate distancing.

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At the gates of the market, hundreds of traders await the results of their tests. Most wear masks, although many did not apply an appropriate distance.

Chaos ensues at HCMC market Covid test siteTien Ba, a merchant, said all the waiting made him tired.

"Everyone wants to get the paper to prove they tested negative so they could function as usual in the market, which led to all these crowds. I'm worried of being infected sitting in this crowd, but I would not be able to sell things without that paper," he said.

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Tien Ba, a merchant, said he was tired of the wait.

“Everyone wants the paper to prove that it has tested negative so it can function as usual in the market, which has led to all these crowds. I’m worried about being infected sitting in this crowd, but I wouldn’t be able to sell things without this paper, ”he said.

Chaos ensues at HCMC market Covid test sitePeople are handed papers containing their test results. Due to the sheer number of people present, many left the scene having given up on waiting.

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People receive papers with the results of their tests. Due to the large number of people present, many left the scene after giving up waiting.

Chaos ensues at HCMC market Covid test siteA man hands a test result paper to a merchant.

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A man hands a test result paper to a trader.

Chaos ensues at HCMC market Covid test siteSen, a merchant, holds up the paper that declares her negative for the coronavirus.

"Next time I would test for Covid-19 somewhere else. It might be a bit more costly, but it's quick and safe," she said.

These papers would expire within four days, according to the market management board.

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Sen, a shopkeeper, holds up the paper declaring her negative for the coronavirus.

“Next time I would test Covid-19 elsewhere. It might be a bit more expensive, but it’s quick and safe,” she said.

Those papers would expire within four days, according to the market’s management board.

Chaos ensues at HCMC market Covid test siteThose who test positive for the coronavirus would be transferred to a temporary quarantine zone, and would be tested once more with RT-PCR for confirmation.

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Those who test positive for the coronavirus would be transferred to a temporary quarantine area and would be tested again by RT-PCR for confirmation.

Chaos ensues at HCMC market Covid test siteBy 5 p.m., many still await their test results outside.

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At 5 p.m., many are still waiting outside for their test results.

Chaos ensues at HCMC market Covid test siteThe Binh Dien market, spanning 30 hectares, is HCMC's largest wholesale market, selling a range of agricultural and aquatic products. It provides 70 percent of all fresh food for HCMC.

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Binh Dien Market, which spans 30 hectares, is HCMC’s largest wholesale market, selling a range of agricultural and aquatic products. It provides 70 percent of all fresh food for HCMC.


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