Representatives of medical workers from across the country on Wednesday received HCM City's medals for their contributions to the city's COVID-19 response during a ceremony. — VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — HCM City is gaining back its vitality, not only because of the central Government and city's leadership, and people's perseverance, but also thanks to the tremendous support from all corners of the country, Phan Văn Mãi, Chairman of HCM City People’s Committee said.
He made the remarks on Wednesday as the southern city’s authorities held a ceremony to honour the volunteers – 12,000 medical workers and medical students, 14,000 armed forces personnel, along with other religious volunteers – deployed to help the country’s COVID-19 epicentre deal with the severe outbreaks in the past few months.
The attendants spent a minute at the beginning of the ceremony to pay tribute to people who have died from COVID-19 as well as heroic medical workers and frontline responders that have lost their lives in the line of duty.
HCM City was hardest hit in the country, with over 400,000 COVID-19 cases and 15,200 deaths confirmed to date, accounting for half of the country’s caseload (818,200), and three fourths of the national death count (nearly 20,000).
Mãi on behalf of the city’s leadership expressed gratitude for all individuals and organisations that contributed to the city’s COVID-19 prevention and control efforts.
The fight against the outbreaks in HCM City and southern region has seen “brutal and intense times,” especially in the last two months, when COVID-19 cases and deaths surged to unprecedented levels, overwhelming the entire medical system, he said.
“All doctors and medical staff were mobilised, and worked day and night and still couldn’t meet the growing demand for care and treatment," he said.
In support of the city’s needs, the Central government, other provinces and cities, as well as religious organisations, have provided assistance and aid to help the city put the outbreaks under control.
Just like before, when groups of doctors and medical staff from HCM City provided dedicated help to some outbreak-hit localities in the north and central regions in previous wave of infections, all who have volunteered to come to the aid of HCM City have done so with little hesitation.
“You have had to leave the sides of your young children, old parents, some couldn’t even be there to say the last goodbyes to their dying relatives. Rain or shine, you have spent the days in restrictive protective gear beside patients, sometimes didn’t even have a full meal or sound sleep for yourselves,” Mãi said.
"All these noble gestures of profound medical ethics, imbued with love and responsibility, will always be remembered by HCM City’s residents,” the city’s chief said.
He hoped that the experience, the good and the bad during the prevention and control efforts in HCM City, would become valuable lessons for the city and others.
Mãi noted that the outbreak situation could still have complicated developments and challenges would still be there, but with national unity, we will overcome to return to a new normal.
HCM City hoped to welcome all the volunteers back again when the outbreaks were completely under control, to truly see a “warm, friendly, affectionate southern city.”
Phan Văn Mãi, Chairman of HCM City People's Committee. — VNA/VNS Photo
On behalf of the organisations and individuals honoured today, Dr Bùi Quang Huy, deputy head of paediatric cardiology faculty at the Cardiovascular Center of Hospital E in Hà Nội, said that when he and colleagues decided to volunteer in HCM City, “we deemed that this is not just the usual support mission, but our own fight, and we need to fight at 200 per cent of our strength to share the burden with our colleagues in HCM City.”
Nguyễn Văn Vĩnh Châu, deputy director of HCM City’s health department, said that with reinforcements, the city has successfully carried out mass testing, mass inoculation efforts, and especially the treatment of seriously ill patients at four health ministry-run intensive care centres.
HCM City’s positive rate and number of critical patients is falling, while over 95 per cent of the adult population has received at least one dose of vaccine, as 45.5 per cent fully vaccinated.
At the ceremony, 43 organisations received certificates of merit from the HCM City People’s Committee along with VNĐ20 million each, while 100 individuals received HCM City’s medal. — VNS