HCM City thankful for central-level frontline workers' assistance in 'brutal COVID-19 war'

October 29, 2021 - 16:23

A delegation from HCM City, led by its Party Committee Secretary Nguyễn Văn Nên, visited the Ministry of Health in Hà Nội on Friday to meet and thank the frontline medical workers who provided support for the city in recent months.


HCM City Party Committee Secretary Nguyễn Văn Nên (standing) and Minister of Health Nguyễn Thanh Long during their meeting on Friday in Hà Nội. — Photo from the Ministry of Health

HÀ NỘI — A delegation from HCM City, led by its Party Committee Secretary Nguyễn Văn Nên, visited the Ministry of Health in Hà Nội on Friday to meet and thank the frontline medical workers who provided support for the city in recent months.

The southern economic hub was the epicentre of Việt Nam’s fourth wave of COVID-19 infections, with caseload and deaths breaking record after record in August-September and pushing the medical system to the point of near-collapse. Tens of thousands of medical workers from the health ministry and many localities went to support the city’s COVID-19 response.

With the situation now easing and the city gathering pace for reopening, this was the time for the city to express its gratitude, paying tribute to the people who had accompanied HCM City in the COVID-19 fight, Nên said.

Nên said the fight was so brutal, difficult, and surpassing any conventional ‘war,’ that sacrifices should be acknowledged at a higher level than normal.

“All medical workers have suffered unprecedented challenges that no words can describe, with extraordinary strength and efforts, motivated by a sense of responsibility, sense of honour, and love for fellow countrymen,” Nên said.

"The current relative peace that the city is now enjoying is thanks in part to the mental and material support from across the country," the city’s leader noted, paying tribute to 25,000 medical workers deployed to the city’s frontlines.

“I think that this is the biggest mobilisation of human workforce in the medical sector’s history. History will forever remember their sacrifices and struggles,” Nên said.

Competent agencies of HCM City are preparing reports of the city’s COVID-19 response in the past few months, with due attention to the acknowledgement of all units that have stood by the city.

“We have determined that to enter a new normal, health strategy is important, and HCM City wants the health ministry to continue to support and accompany us. With regards to unprecedented issues that have not yet been regulated by policies, the city hopes to get the ministry’s approval for pilot initiatives,” Nên said.

For his part, Minister of Health Nguyễn Thanh Long congratulated HCM City on its initial successes against COVID-19, having gone through the most challenging times.

The decision to pour so many medical staff into HCM City was not an easy one, the health chief noted, starting with 39 key officials of the health ministry and then a total of 25,000 medical staff.

Long said many professors and doctors have told him the four months they were in HCM City brought them experience gained for a whole five years, if not a lifetime.

Long also said the health ministry and central-level agencies could provide help in the form of human resources, machinery and equipment but without the help and cooperation from the city in terms of infrastructure and logistics, the setting up of COVID-19 intensive care centres in the city would not have been done so quickly.


Medical staff of Việt Đức University Hospital left Hà Nội to aid HCM City in COVID-19 response on August 5. — VNA/VNS Photo Minh Quyết

At the meeting, Professor Trần Bình Giang, Director of Việt Đức University Hospital in Hà Nội, who led intensive care centre No.13 in the city, said the centre went into operation with 300 experts, medical workers, and doctors just a week after receiving the order from Minister Long on the deployment of forces to HCM City in late July.

“We originally planned to have staff in HCM City for 4-6 months, but only after two and a half months, we were already able to withdraw. Containing a widespread outbreak in a 10-million-population city is not easy, but HCM City has managed to do so,” Giang said.

The deployment was also a chance for the medical staff to gain experience in treating infectious diseases, Giang said.

Nguyễn Vũ Trung, deputy head of the science and technology department under the health ministry, who served as the leader of the ministry’s working group in Củ Chi District, HCM City, said he had never taken part in such a special operation.

“I have already had experience in the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases (in Hà Nội), and went through epidemics like dengue fever, acute diarrhoea, the first two waves of COVID-19 in Việt Nam, but this fourth wave was unique,” Trung said, adding that he had fond memories of the support from Củ Chi’s people. — VNS