|Preschool teachers in the northern province of Thái Bình prepare lunches for doctors and health workers. — VNA/VNS Photo|
THÁI BÌNH — Preschool teachers in the northern province of Thái Bình have called for the community to help prepare meals for doctors and staff at the provincial General Hospital, as well as patients and their caregivers.
The hospital, where COVID-19 cases are being treated, has been locked down from May 6-10.
All schools have been closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but from 4am every day, teachers at the Hoa Phượng and June 1 Kindergartens buy food at the local market.
Teacher Đỗ Thùy Linh was the initiator of the campaign.
"We all try to get our housework done early. We then help prepare lunch boxes for doctors, health workers and patients," Linh said.
On May 6, when Thái Bình Province announced the first COVID-19 cases, many places were locked down, including the General Hospital, Linh said.
Like many local people, Linh immediately called her friends working at the hospital for more information.
"I knew that on May 6, more than 4,000 people, including doctors, medical workers, patients and family members had to stay in the hospital," she said.
"Due to the unexpected appearance of the COVID-19 case and a subsequent lockdown, many health workers as well as patients were not prepared and don’t have even the most essential things.”
Linh and her relatives have called on the community to help those trapped in the hospital.
In just two days, she raised VNĐ24 million (over US$1,000).
Many colleagues from Hoa Phượng and Quang Trung kindergartens have volunteered to help with cooking, shopping, and packing lunch boxes.
“Every day, a ten-member group divides each job, from shopping to processing, cooking and packing meals,” Linh said.
The meals were nutritious and hygienic. On hot days, cooking was also more difficult, but everyone was happy to contribute a small part to share the difficulties with the frontline medical workers.
At around 10am, the meals are taken to the hospital’s gate. Due to safety regulations, these meals are disinfected, and the medical staff distribute the boxes to everyone.
Nguyễn Thị Phúc, a teacher at Hoa Phượng Kindergarten and mother of two little children, also volunteered to do chip in every day.
For her and many other volunteers, preparing the meals was a small effort to help health staff, doctors, and patients overcome difficulties.
Vũ Thị Sen, Principal of Hoa Phượng Kindergarten, who is also Đỗ Thùy Linh's mother, said the images of medical staff over the past few days touched every member of her family, making them realise they needed to share the burden.
"They voluntarily put aside their own families to work day and night to protect people, hoping the current outbreak will come to an end," Sen said.
"Therefore, the meals, although not much in material value, are of great spiritual significance, showing the community's gratitude to the ‘white-shirted soldiers’ who are busy day and night fighting COVID-19.”
From May 7-10, Linh and her friends provided more than 400 meals to Thái Bình Provincial General Hospital.
Linh said that she was also willing to take care of the children of doctors and health workers so that parents could feel secure at work.
"All these activities are free of charge, derived from sympathy and compassion for the local medical force."
A representative from the hospital’s Department of Social Affairs said in five days (May 6-10), the hospital received a lot of help from donors, who supplied meals, drinking water, masks and protective gear.
"This support is the driving force to help employees and doctors feel confident in COVID-19 pandemic prevention,” the representative said.
Linh said that her volunteer group will continue to help the frontline anti-pandemic forces.
"We will be providing breakfasts for the staff of the Provincial Centre for Disease Control.”
The northern province of Thái Bình has so far recorded nine cases of COVID-19 during the fourth outbreak in the country. — VNS