Many people are struggling to make ends meet after losing jobs due to coronavirus-related suspensions of factory operations. The government has announced assistance packages.
“This is not my first attempt. I tried to leave the city weeks ago but was ordered to return to my place,” said Nguyen Van Hoan, who was heading to the central province of Ha Tinh, about 1,200km away by road.
Hoan lost his job two months ago. On the back of his motorbike he had piled a suitcase, a supply of instant noodles, water and spare petrol.
“Many people in my neighbourhood have died. If I stay, I’ll die either from hunger and stress or from the virus,” Hoan told Reuters by phone, adding he had not received any state help.
Healthcare facilities are also overwhelmed, with hospitals overrun and shortages of staff. The government has ordered medical facilities not to turn away patients.