PHÚ YÊN – For nearly a month, despite the hot days and dark rainy nights, the medical teams, police, army, and volunteers in Phú Yên Province have gone to great lengths to firmly hold the frontline combatting the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although not a frontline worker, when the COVID-19 pandemic occurred in the province, Ksor Y Chet, a 37-year-old teacher at Ea Trol Primary and Secondary School in Sông Hinh District volunteered to support the government and people to fight the pandemic.
In a protective suit and sweaty, Ksor Y Chet said: "When the first cases of COVID-19 appeared in Ly Village, all key officials of the commune were mobilised.”
“My wife who is an official of the commune Women's Union had to move to the headquarters of the commune People's Committee and was in charge of cooking for the forces at checkpoints and going to every house to disseminate information about pandemic prevention,” he said.
In those days, the number of COVID-19 cases were growing and were becoming more complicated in the ethnic minority villages.
Chairman of the People's Committee of Ea Trol Commune Lê Văn Tấn called on people in the commune to mobilise resources for the fight against the pandemic.
“As a son of the village, I wanted to contribute to the work of pandemic prevention and control,” the teacher said.
“I instructed my children to do the housework and take care of each other, then I went to the commune People's Committee to register to be on the front line,” he said.
“As a teacher, I can speak fluently in both Vietnamese and the ethnic Ê Đê languages, so when I suggested that I wanted to volunteer to be on the front lines of the fight, the local government immediately agreed," he recalled.
His job was to drive a truck carrying rice and necessities and distribute it to each household for the people of Ly and Bầu villages.
In addition, he also undertook the work of disseminating information to people on pandemic preventive and control measures.
“Because the pandemic came suddenly, people in the village had limited awareness of the disease when they heard that someone in the village had to be quarantined because of COVID-19, everyone was afraid,” he said.
“I am a villager and a teacher, so when I come to households for the dissemination of information, not only parents but also the children follow the instructions. They stay at home, wear masks and disinfecting their hands regularly,” he said
He and his wife have been staying at the headquarters of the commune People's Committee to fight the pandemic together with the local authorities.
“I will accompany my villagers until Ly Village returns to normal life," he said.
Since June 30, 21 COVID-19 cases have been detected in Ly and Bầu.
The husband and wife serving the community
It has been more than 20 days since the COVID-19 cases appeared in Tuy Hoà City. Phạm Quốc Pháp, who works for the Department of Disease Control, and his wife, Lương Thị Ngọc Vân who works for the Examination Department of Tuy Hoà Medical Centre, have joined the frontline.
They didn’t hesitate to get involved, Pháp said.
"On the night of June 22, after receiving a notice from the city Health Centre about a COVID-19 case. My wife and I had a quick discussion, did the housework, and sent the children to our grandparents to be taken care of.”
“That evening, my colleagues and I went to high-risk sites to perform rapid tracing. The next day, I was assigned to the team to spray disinfectant while my wife joined the team to collect samples for testing,” Pháp said.
“We had to quickly disinfect all the places where the COVID-19 case had travelled whether it was morning or night. I usually went to work early and came back home at 10pm,” he said.
The weather in Phú Yên those days was very hot. The disinfection team had to wear protective suits, move a lot, and spray chemicals in closed areas, many times they became dizzy and started vomiting.
Meanwhile, Pháp’s wife Vân was busy taking samples for testing in many different places in Tuy Hoà City.
“On June 28, when the city People's Committee decided to stop the operation of Tuy Hoà Market due to its connection to an F0 case. My team, with five members, had to carry out the task of taking samples of sellers at the entrance and exit of the market,” Vân recalled.
“At that time, I was very worried, partly because I thought about the sellers and partly because I had to wear a protective suit in the hot weather in the crowded market,” Vân said.
“But everything went through smoothly. We sampled 500 sellers that afternoon,” she said.
The couple has a 3-year-old daughter who was sent to Vân’s parents to be cared for.
“My parents’ house is a block away from us but it has been 20 days since we saw our daughter. I was afraid that I could not hold back my tears when I saw her and I had to go to high-risk sites to take samples every day,” Vân said.
“As a woman, in addition to professional duties, I also have to take care of my family but when the pandemic occurred I had to sacrifice my own interests to serve the community,” she said.
Phú Yên has spent more than 20 days fighting COVID-19 with more than 700 cases reported.
The "living shields" on the frontline are racing against time day and night, firmly in the pandemic area to bring safe life to the community. - VNS