A taxi driver helps a pregnant woman put belongings in the car before going to the hospital. — Photo tuoitre.vn
ĐÀ NẴNG — At 4am on one day in early August, Trương Thị Châu and her husband, a taxi driver in central Đà Nẵng City, received a phone call from a pregnant woman in Hòa Hiệp Nam Ward.
Immediately, a seven-seat car was sent to take the woman to the hospital to give birth.
A group of taxi drivers in the central city have offered free rides to pregnant women to hospitals amid social distancing with all transport services suspended.
The service was initiated by Trần Ngọc Vũ, 29 years old, who learned many pregnant women couldn't find cars to take them to hospital when they fell into labour.
At first, he recruited five local taxi drivers who are his friends living in his neighbouring area in Hòa Hiệp Nam Ward.
Their actions became well-known after being shared on social networks, leading more drivers in Đà Nẵng and Quảng Nam Province to join the team.
A lot of local taxi drivers in Đà Nẵng have their jobs suspended since the city started social distancing period in late July. As the epicentre of COVID-19 in Việt Nam will continue social distancing until further notice, drivers do not know when they can resume work.
Châu said: "Whenever there is a call from pregnant women, no matter if it’s at midnight or on rainy days, having to travel far or near, we are always ready to go."
“As a woman, I understand how hard it is when a woman is in labour, having to bring a lot of stuff but not being able to find any car. Everyone feels mixed up in this situation.
“Booking a car in social distancing days is more difficult. Although we have lost income these days due to suspension of transport service, my husband and I still decided to join the team right after Vũ offered,” she told Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) newspaper.
Now the team has more than 60 taxi drivers. When pregnant women need help, they just need to pick up the phone and call the hotline.
Nguyễn Thành Việt in Cẩm Lệ District called the hotline and will never forget the assistance he and his wife received from a taxi driver.
“Only five minutes after the call, the driver came. On the way to the hospital, he advised us not to worry too much and volunteered to take my wife home when she was discharged from hospital,” Việt said.
The driver’s action was especially meaningful during social distancing, he said.
Trần Ngọc Vũ, the founder of the free ride service, said: “All of us are aware of risks at hospitals amid the pandemic and tell each other to take preventive measures in the cars and at hospitals.”
"We want to join hands with the whole city to overcome the pandemic difficulties," he said.
“Each time, we know a baby was born in healthy conditions, we all feel happy and lucky.” — VNS