Soldiers from Military Command of Khánh Hòa Province clean up a facility of Nha Trang University which has been turned into a quarantine camp. — VNA/VNS Phan Sáu
KHÁNH HÒA — Vietnamese citizens quarantined after their repatriations flight back home have only three words to say: “Thank you soldiers.”
Quarantine camps may not be the ideal place to spend two weeks after touching down on home soil, but thanks to the military staff at one such centre in the south central province of Khánh Hòa, the required stay is made all the more easy.
“Every day, soldiers provide us with nutritionally balanced meals,” said Võ Văn Thảo, 48, from Sóc Trăng Province.
“They also instruct us on physical training and check our health.
“The dedication of military personnel responsible for the running of the facility has warmed the heart of the people being quarantined.”
Thảo went to Taiwan (China) to work as a labourer in 2018. He was very happy upon hearing the news that his company had a policy to facilitate Thảo and his colleagues repatriation as the COVID-19 pandemic spread.
However, it was not until the end of July that he returned to the homeland.
Thảo said he felt secure after coming back home because he was worried getting infected abroad would end up costing him a lot of money, especially as he has had heart problems in the past.
Sharing his experience, Phạm Thanh Long, who was also in Taiwan and is quarantined in a camp in the province, believes being quarantined is essential for the safety of the country.
“The first impression that we got as soon as we arrive at the camp is that soldiers here are very careful,” said Long, 39, from Hà Nội.
“Everything from receiving us at the airport to living conditions at the quarantined areas are well-prepared.
“We understand the current pandemic situation is very dangerous. Quarantine is a safety measure for us and society.
“Besides expressing our gratefulness to the Fatherland, we also voluntarily donate money through the Việt Nam Fatherland Front. We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to soldiers in green shirts who are serving at the quarantine facility here.”
Currently there are 525 people in quarantine in Khánh Hòa Province. Of these, 146 are pregnant women.
To provide best care for these women, medical workers coordinate with doctors and nurses from the provincial health department to regularly examine their health.
Looking after pregnant women at quarantine camps was not easy for male soldiers because most of them aged between 18 and 20 and just joined the army. However, they have overcome all difficulties.
Through reading information on the mass media, the soldiers have managed to cook the meals that are suitable to the taste of pregnant women and changed the menu constantly.
Now they are confident that they are doing it very well.
Lieutenant Colonel Nguyễn Lâm Nam from Khánh Hòa Border Guard, who is in charge of one of a number of quarantine centres in the province, said they were assigned to ensure the safety and create the most favourable conditions for the people during the 14-day period.
It’s hard to imagine how much hardship and difficulty soldiers face in serving the people. However, they overcome their own limitations to carry out their duties.
Due to water shortages, officers and soldiers had to stay up late to pump water, assuring there is enough for everyone.
For those who are on duty in a quarantine camp of Regiment 803, the work might be harder.
Whenever receiving the batch of Vietnamese people returning from abroad, the soldiers often work around the clock.
To accommodate people who have to be quarantined, soldiers at the schools have given up their shelters.
According to the provincial health department, because the four military-run quarantine camps have been overloaded, the provincial authority has decided to use two facilities of Nha Trang University as quarantine centres.
Nguyễn Hoàng Thanh Thiên from Military Command of Khánh Hòa Province, said the preparation for the two centres was finished after the military spent four days to clean the environment and install equipment to meet people’s demand.
He said: “When we came here, the buildings were empty and covered with dust. But things have been changed after several days. The buildings are clean, electricity and water and other necessary equipment have also been installed.
“We do this job with expectation that Vietnamese people returning home from overseas understand that it’s a great effort of the Government to bringing people back to the country in the context of economic difficulty.”
Thiên said he hoped that people could feel secure in the 14-day isolation, contributing to the success of the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
Lieutenant Colonel Nguyễn Hùng, Head of Logistic of Military Command of Khánh Hòa Province said by upholding the spirit “fighting the pandemic like fighting against the enemy”, the military force in the province always try their best to fulfil the mission.
"Before welcoming Vietnamese citizens back to the country to be isolated, we all have detailed scenarios to ensure the readiness for each reception and the people always feel safe and secure during isolation at quarantine camps," Hùng said.
For soldiers who are working at quarantine camps they are subjected to long working 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. — VNS