Special volunteers on the COVID-19 frontlines

(VOVWORLD) - People who have recovered from the coronavirus in Ho Chi Minh City have registered to become volunteers. After recovering, they have antibodies against the virus and empathize with the physical and mental pain that the patients are going through. As local people, they know their places of residence like the palm of their hand. These volunteers are contributing substantially to the COVID-19 fight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Special volunteers on the COVID-19 frontlines - ảnh 1Nguyen Minh Duc transports oxygen in District 4. (Photo: Nguyen Minh Duc)

It has been two weeks since the oxygen delivery team from District 4’s Youth Union admitted Nguyen Minh Duc, a 12th grader of Nguyen Huu Tho High School. This youngest team member is as active as the others. Duc was confirmed positive for the coronavirus in late July. He self-isolated and strictly followed treatment guidelines. Duc beat the virus in ten days. He spent his 14-day quarantine mandate afterward reading news about recovered COVID-19 people volunteering to care for patients in the hospitals. This motivated him to fill in his registration for District 4’s Youth Union.

Duc was given protective gear and training on how to carry, install, and remove oxygen tanks safely. Duc started his service when patients called the hotline asking for more oxygen supply. Duc lives in District 4 so he knows all the small alleys and quickly delivers oxygen to those in need.

Duc said, “When I read about a surge in new cases and deaths, I wanted to contribute a little in a hope that the pandemic will end soon. Because I had COVID-19 before, my antibodies might last for a while and I also have my protective suit so I feel secure. I’m tired but happy when I deliver oxygen in time for those who need it the most.  

Tran Quoc Tuan of a COVID-19 community group is no stranger to residents of area No. 3 in Linh Xuan commune, Thu Duc city. Tuan and his family were infected with the virus and navigated through moments of life and death, so he wanted to join the fight against the pandemic. Two months ago when he first reminded people of social distancing and refraining from gathering in the market, he faced backlash. But now he is receiving love instead.

Tuan said, “A friend of mine asked me to join this COVID-19 community group the other day. I said ok without hesitation. Sometimes it’s really challenging. Some people violated regulations by selling something on the street to earn money. I told them that the pandemic was ravaging so staying at home kept themselves safe. They gradually got it and followed the directive.”

Special volunteers on the COVID-19 frontlines - ảnh 2Tran Quoc Tuan carries vegetables to residents in Linh Xuan commune, Thu Duc city. (Photo: VOV)

Siblings Dinh Giang Tam and Dinh Bao Hong in Ward 19, Binh Thanh district, were once COVID-19 patients and are now doing volunteer jobs. They live in a densely-populated, tiny alley, where most residents are blue-collar workers, as a result, the virus transferred easily and quickly. In early July, their hamlet was locked down. Eight out of 11 members in their family were infected. When they recovered, Tam and Hong registered to help in the COVID-19 battle. They were deployed to District 8 to put in data at testing and vaccination sites. Since travel restriction was tightened, the two siblings have been confined to their ward but kept helping locals go shopping.

Hong said, “When our hamlet was sealed off, others helped us buy stuff. I see that they worked so hard. Now the barricades have been removed, we want to join this effort. Orders come in a heap. I feel weary but so good to clear them all.”

Giang always bears in mind her mother’s advice to keep herself and other people safe. “I’m a student of the Hong Duc College of Medicine so I’ve learned about many kinds of drugs. I want to help people. The idea that I might get infected again doesn’t scare me anymore. But what really worries me is that I might be asymptomatically ill and unconsciously transfer the virus to others. So I never let my guard down,” said Giang.     

Tran Thien Bao Khang, Head of the Women’s Union in Ward 19, Binh Thanh District, told VOV, “Our volunteers are extraordinarily enthusiastic. They spare no effort to fulfill all the tasks they are given. The volunteers live in this ward so they know every alley to quickly and easily deliver their services. It’s such a relief of burden that authorities at the grassroots level have them in this fight.” 

These are only some examples from a pool of volunteers in Ho Chi Minh City. Everybody has their own way to help. With their contributions, the city is firing on all cylinders to beat out the coronavirus. 
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