Locals help spread information on COVID-19 in their own ways

April 08, 2020 - 08:44

Ngô Khắc Vũ, a teacher in central Quảng Ngãi Province, has a special way of spreading updated information on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to those with limited internet access.


Ngô Khắc Vũ distributes face masks to traders at a local market in Mộ Đức District in central Quảng Ngãi Province. Photo tuoitre.vn

QUẢNG NGÃI — Ngô Khắc Vũ, a teacher in central Quảng Ngãi Province, has a special way of spreading updated information on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to those with limited internet access.

At 5.30 am every morning, Vũ grabs a bag containing leaflets on COVID-19, medical face masks and boxes of soap and rides his bike to local markets in his hometown in Mộ Đức District. 

At these markets, he approaches people who do not wear face masks, mostly elderly people and traders, and gives each a box of soap, a medical face mask and the leaflet on preventive measures to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’ve got the information from the Ministry of Health and print it out for local people. I’ve got a printer, so it’s convenient to make these leaflets as a way of protecting myself and the community,” he told Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) newspaper.

Vũ is a teacher at Mộ Đức 2 High School in Mộ Đức District. In the middle of March, the school was required to temporarily close to prevent the spread of the disease. Vũ came to a local market and realised few people, especially the elderly who were the most vulnerable to the pandemic, did not wear face masks.

He asked an elderly woman why she didn’t wear a face mask and received an indifferent attitude from the old woman. 

Vũ thought he must do something to improve it. 

Giving them information alone would bring little effectiveness. A bag of gifts, including a face mask and soaps for them to use instantly, would be a better solution.

Vũ decided to spend his money on the two essential items. He started giving out gifts combined with information on COVID-19 at local markets in Đức Chánh, Đức Nhuận, Đức Hiệp, Đức Thắng, and Đức Lợi communes.

The first photos on his act of kindness on Facebook received attention and support from netizens. The more people found out about his act, the more money he has received to continue the job.

Vũ purchased anti-bacterial cloth masks as they can be reusable. He told traders and street vendors to read carefully the guidelines on how to use the face masks, reminded them to wash their hands regularly and instructed them to provide medical declarations in case they owned a smartphone.

So far, approximately 3,500 face masks have been distributed to local people. 

Ba Phương, a 76-year-old resident in Đức Chánh Commune, said she got used to wearing face masks whenever she went out. She even asked her children to buy and wear face masks and clean their hands right after they went home.

Vũ also distributed face masks at the reception office of the local people’s committee and health clinics of five communes as a way of supporting those who worked for local people during the pandemic crisis.

Lê Minh Việt, chairman of Đức Lợi Commune’s People’s Committee said the face masks were put in the office for those who needed them.

Currently, Vũ said he ordered an enterprise in central Đà Nẵng City to make cloth face masks to distribute to patients and their relatives at Quảng Ngãi General Hospital.

“I just want to make a humble contribution to the fight against the disease and help stamping out the disease soon,” he said.


Initiative on disseminating COVID-19 information


Nguyễn Vàng Lộc carries a speaker to disseminate information on COVID-19 pandemic in his hometown in northern Lạng Sơn Province. Photo tienphong.vn

Nguyễn Vàng Lộc, a 70-year-old man in the northern mountainous province of Lạng Sơn, has his own way of disseminating information on COVID-19 to local people in his hometown.

Lộc contacted a local Youth Union in Đồng Đăng Town in Cao Lộc District to gather instructions from the Government and the province about the prevention of the COVID-19 epidemic. He then summarised it, recorded it on his cell phone and used a speaker to disseminate the information.

Almost every day, Lộc rides his motorbike carrying the loudspeaker disseminating the latest information on the epidemic around the town. He has been doing it since February.

Nguyễn Thị Ngọc, a trader at Đồng Đăng Market, said she heard the information from Lộc twice a day at 6.30am and 5pm. 

“We like the information from Lộc as he always updates the information and includes guidelines from the health sector on what we should do and how we do it to stay safe,” she told Tiền Phong (Vaguards) newspaper.

Lâm Quách Nhu, secretary of the Đồng Đăng Town Youth Union said Lộc, in coordination with local youth, has strengthened dissemination on the COVID-19 prevention. 

The work has attracted a large number of people and improved the public awareness of the pandemic, he added. — VNS