The image of doctors in white protective clothes from Hà Nội-based Bạch Mai Hospital and HCM City-based Chợ Rẫy Hospital has touched many people when it was posted and shared on social networking sites last Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Đỗ Duy Cường
ĐÀ NẴNG — As thousands of tourists fled Đà Nẵng after the COVID-19 outbreak sprang up in the central city, dozens of leading doctors went in the opposite direction, towards the danger.
An image of doctors in white protective clothes from Hà Nội-based Bạch Mai Hospital and HCM City-based Chợ Rẫy Hospital in Đà Nẵng Hospital touched many people when it was posted and shared on social networking sites last Tuesday.
“It is a vivid image showing the bravery and silent sacrifices of those on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19 in our country,” Nguyễn Hồng Nhung, a 31-year-old, living in Hà Nội commented.
Lê Hải, a Facebooker, said, "They are the real heroes in the heart of the people."
Đăng Nam, living in Đà Nẵng, who shared the picture and received thousands of likes, said, “We treasure and believe in them. With their support, Đà Nẵng will return to be peaceful again soon.”
The photographer was associate Professor Đỗ Duy Cường, director of National Hospital of Tropical Diseases under Bạch Mai Hospital.
Cường was one of 30 doctors of Bạch Mai Hospital who helped control the spread of SARS-CoV-2 after two staff of the hospital contracted SARS-CoV-2 late March and was dispatched to help Đà Nẵng to fight the pandemic on July 26.
After Việt Nam confirmed its 416th patient when a 57-year-old man in Đà Nẵng tested positive for coronavirus without a clear source of infection on July 25, marking the first case of community transmission in Việt Nam in 100 days, acting minister of Health Nguyễn Thanh Long ordered doctors from Bạch Mai Hospital and Chợ Rẫy Hospital to support Đà Nẵng.
“We received Long’s order at midnight (on July 25) and left for Đà Nẵng very early the next morning," Cường said.
Phạm Thế Thạch, Bạch Mai Hospital’s deputy head of the Intensive Care Department, said when he heard the news of patient 416, he was ready to leave for Đà Nẵng, thanks to his experience treating patients in intensive care in Bạch Mai Hospital.
“We think the task is both a responsibility and honour,” he said.
“We have a lot of work to do these days in Đà Nẵng, it’s very hard but we have gotten used to the high pressure of work, so it's no problem,” he added.
Đà Nẵng has recorded hundreds of infections cases, with eight deaths. The city has put three major hospitals - the General Hospital, the C Hospital and Cardiovascular Centre under lockdown.
“We understand the situation. We understand the anxiety of our colleagues in the three lockdown hospitals. We already experienced the feeling when a nurse of Bạch Mai Hospital became the 86th patient in March. We want to help them as much as we can," Cường said.
Cường said with the supports of Bạch Mai Hospital’s doctors, Đà Nẵng was turning the city’s Lung Hospital into a treatment facility for COVID-19 patients.
It would reduce the workload for Đà Nẵng City's three major hospitals that had been locked down, he said.
For an outbreak in a hospital, quarantining scientifically and effectively was extremely important, he said.
The published list of COVID-19 cases in Đà Nẵng City was mostly the hospitals’ patients, patients’ relatives and health workers, showing the central-level doctors' advice and support were really timely for Đà Nẵng, he said.
Nguyễn Trọng Khoa, deputy head of the Department of Medical Examination and Treatment under the Ministry of Health, who also led a team of doctors to help Đà Nẵng said: "We will only leave when Đà Nẵng becomes peaceful as usual."
Last Friday, Bạch Mai Hospital sent a team of psychosocial experts to Đà Nẵng to encourage the medical staff fighting the pandemic.
In the meantime, nine leading doctors of Chợ Rẫy Hospital were sent to Đà Nẵng on July 25. They include three doctors who helped treat Scotsman Stephen Cameron, or patient 91, who was at one point the country's most seriously ill COVID-19 patient.
Ngô Thị Kim Yến, director of Đà Nẵng City’s Health Department said the city was receiving medical support from many hospitals nationwide, especially from leading doctors who beat back the disease in hotspots like Hạ Lôi, Sơn Lôi and Bạch Mai.
“They have a lot of experience, so they give us more strength and make doctors in Đà Nẵng feel less pressure,” she said. — VNS