|Students of the Faculty of Medicine, Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City, review the information on the test samples they have collected. Photo: VOV
In late May, Covid-19 infections began to spike in Ho Chi Minh City. While most students left the city for their hometown to avoid getting infected, Nguyen Cong Minh from Phu Yen decided to stay and registered to join the fight against the pandemic together with many other students of the Faculty of Medicine at Vietnam National University. At first, Minh was a little hesitant as he was worried that his pharmaceutical training would be a little use. After training sessions in his faculty, Minh felt more confident and asked for his parents’ permission to stay in Ho Chi Minh city.
Minh and some other students were assigned to the rapid response team of Thu Duc City Medical Center. They are now on duty at the quarantine checkpoints, take samples for testing, collect data, and trace contacts.
“The police and militia are deployed in the fight against pandemic. I think there is no reason for me, a medical student, to refuse, although the work is quite hard. Sometimes we start early in the morning and work until the next morning. As long as there is an order, I’m always ready.”
|The support team participate in overnight sampling in Go Vap district. Photo: VOV
Nguyen Van Ha, Deputy Secretary of the Youth Union of the Medicine Faculty, Vietnam National University, applauded the students’ volunteerism. He said that after the University’s dormitory was turned into a dedicated quarantine area, many students returned home, making it difficult to mobilize personnel for the Covid fight. However, after three recruitments, more than 80 general medicine, pharmacy, and nursing students were available.
“At the beginning, they joined the advanced team in Thu Duc City. Our Faculty has mobilized 80 students, who are ready for “combat.” When asked, they all say they don’t feel tired at all, even though the work is quite tough. You just take a short break and then have to work again the next morning.”
A 3rd year student at Pham Ngoc Thach University of Medicine, Truong Dang Quang arranged the time of his online class so he could work in pandemic hotspots: Tan Phu district, Go Vap district, District 8, Binh Thanh district, and Hoc Mon. Quang and his friends began collecting samples for Covid-19 testing early in the morning and continued until 2 am the next day. After returning, the team members barely had time to take off the protective suits they had worn for dozens of hours, eat and drink quickly, and then it was time to start working again.
Quang said he’s fine and wants to contribute to stopping Covid-19. “We balance studying online and participating in anti-pandemic work. I’m very happy to help speed up the testing for the whole city population. I hope my city will return to normal soon.”
|With youthful energy, enthusiasm and professional skills, hundreds of medical students in Ho Chi Minh City are continuing to support the health sector during the pandemic. Photo: VOV
Pham Quan Hien, Deputy Dean of the Department of Testing and Diagnostic Imaging at District 8’s Medical Center, who works with a team of 10 volunteers from Pham Ngoc Thach Medical University, praised the enthusiasm and expertise of the young students.
“Really, the students work very hard. Their expertise and computer skills are very good. They used to work just during office hours, but now, knowing that District 8 has become a hotspot in Ho Chi Minh city, they are working through the night. They have been very supportive,” he said.