Vietnam protects citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic

(VOVWORLD) -  Since the very first flight carried Vietnamese citizens back home from Wuhan, China, the original COVID-19 hot spot, Vietnamese agencies have worked closely with foreign agencies to repatriate Vietnamese citizens working, living, and studying abroad.

Vietnam protects citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic    - ảnh 1Photo: Thanh Dat/TTXVN 

Vietnam Airlines flight VN06 repatriating 219 Vietnamese citizens, including several COVID-19 patients, from Equatorial Guinea on July 29 was a milestone of Vietnam’s efforts to safeguard Vietnamese citizens during the epidemic.

Protecting citizens prioritized

Crewmembers Truong Anh Tuan and Nguyen Huu Trung volunteered to serve in the separate cabin for infected passengers. Tuan said: “I was glad to be chosen for the flight because it was a flight to bring Vietnamese citizens back home. During the flight everyone was kept safe. All the passengers were happy to be going home. I’m very happy to have fulfilled my task.”

Nguyen Huu Trung said: “Everyone wanted to be on the flight to Equatorial Guinea. For me, this was not just a duty, but something I wanted to do.”

One of 4 medical personnel on the flight, Doctor Than Manh Hung, Deputy Head of the Emergency Department of the Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases, said: “During the flight, the crewmembers and medical staff worked closely and helped one another. We all felt the pressures of ensuring everyone’s safety and keeping the patients stabilized.”

The flight to Equatorial Guinea was a clear example of the Vietnamese Party and State’s policy of protecting Vietnamese citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic. Before and after that flight, many other Vietnamese citizens were brought home from 50 other countries and territories. In just the last two days, 350 Vietnamese citizens, including children under 18, pregnant women, and the elderly have returned home from 20 countries and territories in Europe and Africa. Those flights reflect Vietnam’s recognition that Vietnamese citizens overseas are an inseparable part of the Vietnamese nation.

Vietnamese humanitarian tradition upheld

Since the COVID-19 outbreak hit Vietnam, the Vietnamese Party and State have made protecting people’s health its top priority. The Vietnamese Party and State have paid particular attention to Vietnamese people stranded in countries with a high rate of infection. With most commercial flights suspended, the Vietnamese government asked agencies in Vietnam and representative offices overseas to monitor the situation and work out a plan to bring Vietnamese citizens home safely.

Tifosi, wrote on Facebook: “When a flight from the epidemic-hit country returns home, instead of being worried about the risk of disease transmission, Vietnamese people happily welcome their fellow citizens home. All worries are put aside.”

The repatriation flight from Equatorial Guinea drew special attention from the public because the flight was long, 30 hours, and on a route that Vietnam Airlines has never flown, and also because there were a number of COVID-19 patients on the flight. Upon arrival, the passengers waved Vietnamese flags and held up pictures of President Ho Chi Minh and a banner which read: “Thanks to the government, ministries, and companies for bringing us back to Vietnam.” They praised the government’s determination not to leave anyone behind. Inspired by that flight, a Vietnamese-American named Minh Giang posted on Youtube a video clip titled “The most humane flight of the epidemic.” Mr. Giang praised the Vietnamese government’s humane act and pointed out that during a global pandemic it’s not easy for a country to bring citizens home and organize quarantines, health examinations, and treatment for suspected COVID-19 cases.