Women from Phú Vang District's Women's Union cook meals for people in quarantine. — VNA/VNS Photos Mai Trang
THỪA THIÊN-HUẾ — It's 6 o’clock in the morning and breakfast is ready for people in quarantine at T3 zone in Phú Vang District, central Thừa Thiên-Huế Province.
To serve breakfast on time for more than 900 people, the soldiers working in the kitchen have to wake up at 4am to buy ingredients and cook. The menu includes various types of nutritious and safe food, like bowls of noodle soup, sticky rice with stew or bread.
Thừa Thiên-Huế Province is located next to Đà Nẵng City, the epicentre of the new COVID-19 outbreak in Việt Nam. Since the resurgence of SARS-CoV-2 in late July, the province has quarantined 1,500 people returning from hotspots.
If doctors and nurses are on the frontlines, those working in the kitchen and in charge of logistics have silently made contributions to the fight against the pandemic.
A young soldier who declined to be named told Vietnam News Agency: “Instead of practising hard on the drill ground, now I am an assistant in the kitchen fighting against the ‘COVID-19 enemy’ and cooking meals full of affection and responsibility delivered to people.”
Lieutenant Colonel Hồ Minh Hương, a political instructor at T3 quarantine zone in Phú Thượng Commune, said soldiers always tried their best to make people in quarantine feel at home.
“The outbreak earlier this year has given soldiers more experience of cooking and logistics. Most of the people in quarantine feel satisfied with the meals and strictly follow quarantine regulations,” he said.
When breakfast is delivered to every doorstep, the military cooks continue their work to prepare lunch and dinner. Their work is supported by local women and youths who have volunteered to help.
Lê Thị Thùy Na, vice president of Phú Vang District’s Women's Union, said about 40 local women joined a quick COVID-19 response team to offer assistance. About 20 women went to the kitchen of each zone every day. Many of them stopped working in the fields or in their shops to help out.
“As a woman, I cook in the kitchen every day but this was the first time I have cooked meals for such a large number of people,” Na said.
The women are divided into three groups in charge of pre-processing, cooking and cleaning to help soldiers finish cooking as quickly as possible.
A woman under quarantine told Thanh Niên (Young People) newspaper that the meals were well prepared with four dishes of vegetables, meat, eggs, soup and yoghurt.
“Although we are in quarantine, everyone feels optimistic,” she said.
Not only women, but young people from the local youth union have also come to help soldiers divide food into boxes and pack the meals.
Young people from the local youth union help divide food into boxes.
According to Colonel Ngô Nam Cường, captain of Thừa Thiên-Huế Province’s Military Command, the province has 1,500 people in quarantine, with T3 quarantine zone receiving the biggest batch. There is great pressure on soldiers, women and young people working in the kitchen.
Even at night, they are always ready to heat the cookers to prepare late meals for those who have just arrived at the quarantine zone. "Among many memories, the image of cooks in the kitchen will certainly leave an impression on people during their quarantine," he said. — VNS