Nguyễn Ân, 33, from HCM City's Gò Vấp District, edits photos for families whose loved ones have died from COVID-19. — Photo:thanhnien.vn
HCM CITY — Photo printing services in HCM City, like many other services, have been shut down due to the current social distancing regulations, preventing many people from getting portraits of their deceased family members for their altar.
Many volunteer groups and individuals have tried to help those in need for free.
Tống Hoàng Quân, head of the volunteer group ‘G9- For the children smile’, told Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) newspaper that he felt sad every time he received calls from people who wanted help to print photos of their deceased relative.
"You can feel the pain and loss in their voice over the phone. It’s so sad! There are even families who lost four people due to COVID-19. Our team wants to share the loss with them,” Quân said.
After receiving the call, the volunteer group asks the family to send a picture of the deceased so they can print it, put it in a frame, and send it to the family.
“We do it for free. We just share their loss and hope the deceased can rest in peace,” Quân said.
A patient at Củ Chi field hospital whose mother had just died from COVID-19 contacted the group to print her mother’s portrait to put on her altar.
Her entire family tested positive for COVID-19. Her mother passed away, and the family was still in quarantine at Củ Chi field hospital.
“When my mother passed away, I contacted the group and received great support. They joined hands with my neighbours to make a proper altar for my deceased mother. I appreciate their help during this difficult time,” she said.
Nguyễn Ân, 33, in Gò Vấp District has helped about 150 cases.
“I watch the news every day on TV, and see the high rate of infection and deaths. Many families who have lost loved ones due to COVID-19 cannot print picture of the deceased, so I just want to help them as much as I can,” Ân told Thanh Niên (Young People) newspaper.
“I contacted all photo printing shops that I know. But none of them were open during social distancing. All I can do is help them edit the picture of their deceased and send it back to them. I suggest they open the edited picture on a smartphone or laptop and put it on the altar, and wait until photo printing shops open to get the proper ones.”
Last month, the city said that it would cover expenses for funeral services for deceased COVID-19 patients.
Nguyễn Toàn Thắng, director of the city’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources, said that each family would receive VNĐ17 million (US$ 740) to cover transportation, cremation and delivery of the ashes to them.
For COVID patients who die at hospital, the city Department of Health would transfer funds to the hospitals to pay for funeral services. — VNS