Life inside Vietnam’s army-run quarantine camps

(VOVWORLD) - In response to the complicated developments of Covid-19, Vietnam is stepping up its measures to stop the virus from contaminating its communities. Individuals who have come into close contact with anyone carrying the virus and travelers from affected areas will be instructed to self-isolate or go to a quarantine camp run by soldiers and medical staff. The 2-week quarantine period is a time those citizens won’t forget. VOV reports. 

A picture of hands holding the national flag of Vietnam is a gift that 11-year-old Bui Thi Mai Phuong gave soldiers and medical staff at the quarantine facility in Regiment 244, under the Military Command of Quang Ninh province in northern Vietnam. Phuong, her mother and sister went straight to the camp after returning from Sweden. She said: “What I like most about the quarantine area is that the soldiers here are all very nice to be around. They also cook very well. There are many things I do not know. I ask a lot of questions and they answer them all. This is the second time I come to Vietnam, which I would never forget.”

Life inside Vietnam’s army-run quarantine camps - ảnh 1Soldiers are preparing the meals for quarantined people (Photo:

Mai Phuong's mother, Ms. Nguyen Thi Cuc, said the 2 weeks in the military quarantine camp gave her children memorable experiences, which strengthened their love for their home country. The soldiers and medical staff took care of the children, which really touched her.

Cuc shared: “When we checked in, the room’s door has already glued a paper with a phone number of a staff named “Tham”. I have children, so I regularly contact Tham and ask her to go out and buy milk, anti-mosquito cream, and other necessary baby items. She is enthusiastic. On my flight back to Vietnam, there was a baby who suffered from allergies and had a very high fever. The soldiers and medical staff came to check and took her to hospital at 2 pm. Their caring is far more than our expectation.” 

Life inside Vietnam’s army-run quarantine camps - ảnh 2Military push a cart of food offering to people who stay in quarantine at the Military School of Hanoi Capital Command in Son Tay District, March 19, 2020.(Photo: VnExpress) 

Returning from Germany, Ms. Bui Thi Hoa from Hai Phong was also isolated in a quarantine facility at Regiment 244, Quang Ninh province. She was worried when she heard that all passengers entering Vietnam from abroad must be quarantined for 14 days.

When she landed and saw all procedures at the Van Don airport were carried out quickly and the quarantined areas were well-prepared with decent living conditions, all her fears were gone. Hoa said: “We can feel the soldiers’ love and care. We often stood at the balcony looking down to the yard where the soldiers were working wishing that we can come and help. When we left, the soldiers also helped pack up and take our suitcases to the cars. There is nowhere like being here in Vietnam, where I feel so lucky to return.”  

Life inside Vietnam’s army-run quarantine camps - ảnh 3Health workers take temperature of new arrivals at the quarantine facility in District 12, Ho Chi Minh city (Photo: 

Nguyen Dinh Trong, a Vietnamese student returning home from Japan, spent 14 days of isolation in a large-scale quarantine area in Hoang Mai district, Hanoi. It helped him empathize with the sacrifices of the soldiers and medical staff who are working long hours, under emotionally and physically stressful conditions. To do their jobs, they frequently come in very close contact with people who might be infected with the deadly virus. Yet they are still there, supporting people with everything they have.

Trong recalled: “The soldiers support us a lot. They hold entertainment activities, which everybody can be involved while strictly follow the government’s Directive 16 on social distancing, for example wearing face masks and maintaining 2-meter safe distance. The soldiers often sing for us to improve our moods. I’m thankful to the government and State for creating favorable conditions for us to come back and finish this quarantine period.  I feel safe here.”

Life inside Vietnam’s army-run quarantine camps - ảnh 4A group of people arrive at a quarantine zone at a resort in Can Gio District, Ho Chi Minh city, March 21, 2020. (Photo: VnExpress) 

Ms. Le Thi Thu Lan, from Phu Loc district, Thua Thien Hue province, could not hide her emotion and tears when she and her family were able to return home from quarantine camp. She expressed her thanks to Vietnamese soldiers, and doctors who worked tirelessly day and night to take care of their health.

Lan said: “I was very worried at first, but that fear disappeared after just one or two days of isolation. Everything is provided, from drinking water, necessary personal items, and 3 meals per day. The Party, the State, soldiers, and medical staff took care of everyone. They have done a great job. I’m very grateful.” 

Ms. Nguyen Thi Thanh in Thiệu Hóa district, Thanh Hóa province, was in compulsory 14-day isolation at a quarantine camp when she learned that her father had passed away. Hoa and her 2 children decided to stay in quarantine and mourn her father remotely considering the stressful time for the whole country battling Covid-19.  

“While still in quarantine, I knew that my father had passed away, however, I couldn’t leave the isolation zone to see him for the last time. I was so sad. But with the support and care from the staff and other people, I feel better. The first thing I would do when finishing quarantine is coming back home and praying my father and ancestors to bring luck and health for all the country. I think people should not be panic when being sent to concentrated quarantine camps. The Government did so well and care for every single person,” Thanh said.

Life inside Vietnam’s army-run quarantine camps - ảnh 5A man receives a certificate for completing his Covid-19 quarantine from a soldier (Photo: VNA) 

Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Anh Tuan, Deputy Commander of the Military Command of Dien Bien Phu City said the Ministry of Transport has been helping the unit arrange vehicles to assist citizens returning home safely. The vehicles are disinfected and equipped with necessary medical products like hand sanitizer, medical masks, and so on.

People are also required to keep a 2-meter distance in the vehicle during the transfer. Tuan said: “People are relieved when finishing their 2-week compulsory quarantine, and so am I. Witnessing every individual completes the quarantine and be back home safely become the motivation for us to continue our work. Together we fight Covid -19.”

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