The negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has turned the once-bustling Hang Ma street in Hanoi’s Old Quarter into a gloomy area as the Mid-Autumn Festival is drawing near, with the busy scenes from previous years now disappearing.
The street is located in the heart of Hoan Kiem district, one of the capital’s red zones, meaning it is in the grip of strict social distancing measures for the COVID-19 fight.
The street normally gets busy one month before the Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the full-moon festival. However, this year the scene is quite different as many stores are forced to shut down in order to combat COVID-19.
Hang Ma street appears both quiet and gloomy as non-essential shops are required to remain closed.
Familiar images such as crowds purchasing lanterns and toys ahead of the festival are no longer seen this year.
Hanoi is currently implementing social distancing measures until September 21, which falls on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month and coincides with the full-moon festival. Therefore, there is no chance for traders to do any business before the festival starts.
Many store owners cannot afford to pay for their premises due to the damaging impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, prompting them to announce the closure and transfer of the premises.
A few store owners seek ways to do business online, however they find it hard to deliver the items to consumers due to travel restrictions.