Since early June, when a fourth wave of COVID-19 broke out in Ho Chi Minh City, tens of thousands of dollars and hundreds of tons of agricultural products and food have come to the city from all over Vietnam. In addition to financial and material aid, warm, heartfelt words of encouragement have poured in.
Chairman of Da Nang City People's Committee Le Trung Chinh expressed sympathy with Ho Chi Minh City’s residents, “We are also suffering from the pandemic, but it’s worse in Ho Chi Minh City. We residents of Da Nang city want to express our affection for Ho Chi Minh City and help it in pandemic prevention and control.”
Individuals, businesses, and associations in other provinces and cities have lent Ho Chi Minh City a helping hand through social, community, and volunteer groups. Nguyen Tuan Khoi, coordinator of Food Bank Vietnam project, which is organizing the "Front Kitchen" and "Community Refrigerator" programs, said that every day trucks from other provinces carry food supplies to the city.
“ I feel a lot of affection for Ho Chi Minh city. In just 2 days our "Community Refrigerator" project has received more than 100 tons of food and cooked 20,000 meals. Benefactors from neighboring Dong Nai and other provinces have delivered a lot of fruits and vegetables,” said Khoi.
Despite the inconveniences caused by social distancing under Directive 16, residents approve of the government’s measures to contain the virus. Nguyen Thi Tra, who lives in Binh Thanh district, said that since supermarkets and makeshift supply points have enough essential food, she feels secure and willing to comply with COVID-19 regulations.
“I strongly support Directive 16, because only by implementing it strictly can we defeat the pandemic and return to normal life. Since I went through social distancing last year, I didn’t hoard much food. I ‘ve been working online for a while now and will take advantage of this social distancing period to take better care of my family,” Tra stressed.
The more widespread the COVID-19 becomes, the more difficult it is for people to live, especially street vendors and uncontracted workers.
The US$38-million relief package was quickly distributed to the people most affected by COVID-19. Phan Kieu Thanh Huong, Vice Chairwoman of the Ho Chi Minh City Fatherland Front, says many practical and meaningful activities have been carried out to ensure social security.
“People in blockaded areas have been given essential goods during the social distancing period. We are also helping those who are in a difficult situation or do not have a signed labor contract. The City Fatherland Front is cooperating with member organizations to operate models like Free Supermarkets, Meals of Love, and Rice ATMs. Each disadvantaged household has received aid worth US$13,” Huong noted.
Nguyen Thi Phuong, a freelance worker and temporary resident of Binh Thanh district, is an aid recipient. She elaborated that “Having the ward staff come to my house to give me money left me very moved and very happy. I was worried about having no money to buy rice and fish sauce during the 15 days of social distancing. Now, with this money, my family will be more secure for the next few days.”