Ea Trol Commune officials bring food to residents in lockdown area of Ly Village. VNA/VNS Photo
PHÚ YÊN — Phú Yên Province authorities, agencies and private benefactors have stepped up and donated necessities to help people in Ea Trol Commune cope with a COVID-19 outbreak.
Sông Hinh District in the central coastal province of Phú Yên has recorded 27 SARS-CoV-2 infections since June 30, mostly among Ê Đê ethnic minorities.
Ea Trol is the epicentre of the pandemic in Sông Hinh with 19 cases.
A checkpoint for COVID-19 prevention and control has been set up at the start of the concrete road leading to Ly Village, Ea Trol. Unlike the bustling atmosphere of normal days, all houses are now closed as local people are strictly complying with anti-pandemic regulations.
Lê Văn Tấn, Chairman of Ea Trol People's Committee, went from house to house wearing PPE to encourage people in parts of the commune that were locked down for 14 days due to COVID-19 cases.
Ea Trol has eight villages, including Ly and Bầu with 371 households and 1,150 people, with more than 80 per cent of households populated by ethnic minorities.
The two villages have been under social distancing orders in Directive 16 since June 30.
“Fighting the pandemic in ethnic minority areas is very difficult," Tấn said. "People have a custom of living together for many generations in a house, and working in community activities, while the houses are built close together without walls.”
“The only way to control the pandemic is for communal officials and medical workers to keep a close watch to guide local people.”
Over the past two weeks, officials of local authorities and social organisations in Ea Trol have been assigned jobs to help local people fight the pandemic, said the chairman.
Chairman of the Sông Hinh District People's Committee, Đinh Ngọc Dạn, said helping people in the lockdown areas in the immediate and long term was the top priority of the authorities.
The communal People's Committee, in collaboration with the district Agriculture Department, has provided feed ingredients for cows in Ly and Bầu villages. A group of four staff helped local people watering for more than 100 hectares of rice.
Eight community-based COVID teams in the eight villages have encouraged people to obey anti-pandemic regulations and helped health workers take samples for testing in the lockdown areas, trace the infected patients' close contacts and classify groups at risk of infection.
People infected with SARS-CoV-2 have been treated at Đông Hòa field hospital, and 167 F1 cases have been taken to a concentrated isolation area.
Some 2,000 people in the lockdown areas have been sampled for the first time and will soon take the second test.
A 35-year-old woman at Ly Village, Mí Khoa, said: "I was scared when I heard that the pandemic was in the village."
"Every day, loudspeakers remind people to stay at home, not to go out, not to go to work, not to communicate with neighbours, and wear masks to prevent the spread of disease in the community.”
“In the past 12 days, my family of four have done the same. Commune officials helped water two sào [720sq.m] of rice, and our nine cows are given enough dry straw.”
The villagers previously stocked up on rice, and were given fish sauce and cooking oil by authorities and benefactors.
“People in the lockdown areas can rest assured and comply with pandemic prevention regulations,” Mí Khoa said.
Mí Nít in Bầu Village said that once every three days, the communal staff bring rice, fish sauce and noodles to her family.
The pandemic had arrived, but people didn't have to worry about their daily meals, the 50-year-old woman said.
"I always remind my children to strictly follow the Government's regulations to fight the pandemic.”
Đinh Ngọc Dạn, Chairman of the People's Committee of Sông Hinh District, said when it recorded the first positive case with SARS-CoV-2, a man on June 30, the local authorities mobilised all forces, traced his contacts and quickly zoned off his residential area.
Local authorities have zoned off seven lockdown areas with a total of 747 households and 2,853 people. All households in the lockdown areas have been sampled for the first time and will be tested a second and third time.
Along with quick tracing, the local authorities immediately implemented measures to take care of people's lives in the blockade areas by arranging deliveries for each family, ensuring living conditions, and maintaining stable production, he said. VNS