Women in Vũ Ninh Ward of Bắc Ninh City prepares trays of meals for frontline workers and staff in the city's quarantine facilities. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Thương
BẮC NINH — The northern province of Bắc Ninh is the second worst-hit locality in Việt Nam's fourth wave of COVID-19 infections since late April, with over 1,000 cases to date.
To help fight the outbreaks, the women's unions at all levels in the province have promoted volunteering activities, energising the frontline forces.
For more than 20 days, women in Vũ Ninh Ward of Bắc Ninh City have taken turns cooking meals and sending them to doctors, nurses, and forces in swelling number of quarantine areas.
These were not only meals to help people overcome hunger, but also show gratitude and bringing family warmth to everyone.
Vũ Thị Tiến, chairwoman of the Women's Union of Vũ Ninh Ward, said that since the Women's Union of Bắc Ninh City launched the cooking activity, the ward union’s members enthusiastically participated in the movement.
The core group involved in cooking the meals were female workersin the ward. Although each person had her own job in the office and was busy with their families, they tried to manage their time to participate in the volunteer work, Tiến said.
Nguyễn Thị Thanh Hòa, a member, said that in order to have delicious and nutritious meals for about 70 people every day, the women in the logistics team discussed the menus the day before.
"Early the next morning, we had to go to the market and buy food and then take turns cooking while working," Hoà said.
"Every day, we try to work two or three times harder than before to contribute to the fight against the pandemic," Hoà said.
Bắc Ninh City has been going through a difficult and decisive time in pandemic prevention and control, so those at the disease control checkpoints and medical forces always have to work hard.
They worked regardless of time, day and night, often away from their families, so the women in the ward tried to prepare delicious, nutritious food, helping people feel secure in their duties.
Nguyễn Gia Bình, a 70-year-old man in Vũ Ninh, who voluntarily worked at a checkpoint, said: “Every day, I received hot meals from the women of Vũ Ninh Ward. I really appreciated their work. The meals helped us overcome fatigue.”
Gia Bình Township has a field hospital to treat COVID-19 patients.
The doctors and nurses here always face the risk of disease transmission.
Sharing those difficulties and hardships, the district’s Women's Union also launched a movement of cooking delicious meals for the frontline forces.
Nguyễn Thị Vân, the head of a 'pandemic kitchen' in Gia Bình Township said the kitchen was established on May 11 with 10 people who are members of the township's Women's Union, using the financial contributions of the union’s members.
“Since it was set up, the kitchen has received a lot of support from the union’s members and other benefactors of the district because people realise this is a meaningful activity,” said Vân.
“At present, the kitchen serves more than 200 breakfasts and a number of side meals every day. The menus are regularly changed every day, including sticky rice, noodles and various types of vermicelli to help frontline forces keep their strength against the pandemic,” Vân said.
Military Lieutenant Colonel Nguyễn Huy Diện who is in charge of Gia Bình Township's concentrated quarantine area with 290 F1 COVID-19 patients, said that for almost a month, the area had received the attention of benefactors, regularly receiving gifts, necessities and daily meals from the women’s kitchen.
The officials and employees at the quarantine area felt the attention of leaders at all levels, especially the Women's Union, contributing to motivating the forces here to complete their tasks.
Members of local women's unions in Bắc Ninh City hand over free meals prepared for the volunteers at COVID-19 checkpoints in Vũ Ninh Ward of the northern city. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Thương
Supporting people in lockdown
Quế Võ District has recorded 93 infected cases with dozens of clusters.
The district imposed medical quarantine on 25 hamlets of 20,000 households with 72,000 residents.
Together with the authorities, the district Women's Union has contributed significantly to fight the pandemic.
Lê Thị Phượng, chairwoman of the district Women's Union, said that the union had actively grasped the situation and assigned staff to support the medical declaration and taking samples for tests.
In order to ensure food supply in the locked down areas, the Women's Unions of the communes established 85 logistics women's groups (inside and outside the quarantined areas) to purchase daily necessities, and sell agricultural products for the families who must isolate at home, said Phượng.
According to Trần Thị Vân, chairwoman of Women’s Union of Bắc Ninh Province, women in the province organised many meaningful activities such as cooking meals fo people in quarantine areas, field hospitals, and medical checkpoints; buying food and daily necessities for families in quarantine areas; visiting and giving gifts to staff at medical checkpoints and supporting the families of members who were in extremely difficult circumstances due to the impact of the pandemic.
Since the beginning of May, the women in the province donated money and gifts worth nearly VNĐ6 billion (US$260,000), of which nearly VNĐ3 billion in cash, 400,000 medical masks, 11,000 cloth masks, 6,000 bottles of hand sanitiser, over 400 sets of PPE and many essential necessities such as 7.5 tonnes of rice, 30,000 eggs, over 700 boxes of milk, and over 70 tonnes of vegetables and fruits, said Vân.
“The COVID-19 pandemic causes many problems. The whole government system, mass organisations and society in the province were working together to contribute to the fight against the disease,” said Vân.
“Every simple act of Bắc Ninh’s women helped motivate the province to soon beat the pandemic,” the chairwoman added. — VNS