A quarantine zone for factory workers at Fuhong Precision Component Company Ltd under Foxconn Technology Group in Quang Châu Industrial Park, Bắc Giang Province. Workers need to be quarantined and vaccinated for COVID-19 before moving into the company's dormitory and resume working. — Photo courtesy of Trương Văn Vụ
HÀ NỘI — Nguyễn Hồng Mến packed her bags and left home on an important mission. She waved goodbye to her two children knowing it could be weeks before she saw them again.
Mến is one of many factory workers who volunteered to give up their home lives to help kickstart the country’s economy.
She works in Bắc Ninh, a province hit hard by the fourth wave of COVID-19.
Although there’s light at the end of the tunnel with the number of cases dropping, there is still much hard work to be done.
Mến has swapped her family home for a dormitory she shares with 11 people.
But she feels this is just a small sacrifice to get back to work.
“My colleagues and I volunteered to move in to help the company fight the pandemic and maintain production," said the 34-year-old who works at Samsung Display Việt Nam.
“It’s not compulsory. For now, we are staying until June 16."
“The dormitory is only a 5-minute walk from the factory. We have clean bunk beds and air-conditioners. Twelve people stay in one room, but given the struggles we face due to the pandemic, that’s good enough for us,” she added.
“There's downtime for every company. During this critical time, I’m happy with what my company has done for us. A lot of other companies can’t do the same.”
The two northern provinces of Bắc Giang and Bắc Ninh have been the most affected since the latest wave of infections hit the country at the end of April.
By the middle of May, social distancing was applied in areas of both provinces, and four industrial parks in Bắc Giang where thousands of workers work were shut down.
But as their operations are crucial to the economy, Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam said it is in the Government’s interest to maintain production activities at the industrial parks, while doing everything they can to control the pandemic.
The Bắc Giang People’s Committee has allowed some companies in the four previously closed industrial parks to resume working, under the condition that they meet safety requirements set by the province’s health department.
By Monday, 42 companies in the Vân Trung, Quang Châu, Đình Trám and Song Khê-Nội Hoàng industrial parks had been allowed to resume operations.
Starting from June 2, hundreds of companies in Bắc Ninh opened up their dormitories for factory and office workers to move in.
Young mum Trần Thị Thu Hằng misses her two-year-old son deeply but is determined to get back to work to provide for her family.
Even though there are still risks of infection, she feels her company is doing all it can to keep staff secure.
Hằng, 26, who works at Seojin System Vina Company Ltd in Tiên Sơn Industrial Park, said: “The pandemic does affect us financially. My parents are no longer working, so I have to work to make money.
“I feel safe staying at the company because the prevention measures are being applied well.
“Staying here I don’t have time for anything else, and I miss my home and my son. But it also wouldn’t work if everyone wants to stay at home and stop working, because that will badly affect the economy and our own incomes. So I think moving in to stay and work at the company is a way to protect ourselves and the community.”
Trương Văn Vụ works at a factory under the Foxconn Technology Group in Quang Châu Industrial Park in Bắc Giang.
The 23-year-old moved into a quarantine area on Monday, where he will be staying to get tested for COVID-19 before moving into a dormitory.
“The area I’ve just moved into is divided into different zones. My zone has 60 tents, which are placed two metres away from each other. It’s inside the factory so we do have air-conditioners,” he said.
“I have to stay here for a few days, then get the vaccine, then take a couple of tests. If my results are all negative then I can move into the dormitory in Đình Trám Industrial Park, then go to work.”
Vụ said his company encouraged him to move into the dormitory.
“The process of selecting which workers can move in was quite tough because you have to be from the areas that don’t have F0s (COVID-19 patients),” he said.
“It’s a difficult process, but I decided to go because if I have the virus and stay at home, it will get transmitted to my family, my village and commune.
“Besides, I also need to make money to take care of my wife and children. I’m doing this for my family. They also agreed for me to go.” — VNS
More than 400,000 people work in 10 industrial parks in Bắc Ninh and 240,000 in six industrial parks in Bắc Giang
Bắc Ninh led the country in terms of industrial production in 2020, registering a figure of VNĐ1.128 trillion (US$48.9 billion)
3,673 COVID-19 cases have been reported in Bắc Giang and 1,215 in Bắc Ninh since April 27 as of 12pm Thursday