Youth volunteers – everyday heroes of HCM city’s COVID-19 fight

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(VOVWORLD) - Youth volunteers have become an indispensable force in helping Ho Chi Minh City residents fight COVID-19 since Vietnam’s economic hub and biggest COVID-19 epicenter imposed Directive 16, which requires people to stay home except to buy food or medications, or for an emergency reason. Youth volunteers can be seen at supermarkets unloading trucks delivering relief supplies from across the country.

Youth volunteers – everyday heroes of HCM city’s COVID-19 fight  - ảnh 1Inside a field testing facility at the Military Medical Academy. (Photo: NVCC)

More than 100 students and lecturers from HCMC’s University of Science have joined thousands of medical students carrying out testing at a field testing facility inside the Military Medical Academy.

Youth volunteer Nguyen Thi Thu Uyen said students like her are applying what they have learned in school to help speed up COVID-19 testing.

"When I learnt of volunteer recruitment for the COVID-19 fight, I immediately applied to join the force, with my family’s support. Studying biotechnology has equipped me with knowledge about testing. Volunteers like me try to stay focused at work while implementing prevention measures. We’re excited and nervous at the same time," said Uyen.

Youth volunteers – everyday heroes of HCM city’s COVID-19 fight  - ảnh 2Ha Nhi, in a yellow hat, is the only volunteer female driver in the group transporting COVID-19 patients. (Photo: NVCC)

25-year-old Nguyen Thi Ha Nhi is an active member of Nhat Tam, a local volunteer group which arranges free buses to carry infected patients and people who have had close contacts with these patients to treatment facilities and quarantine areas.

Nhi first participated in the group as a cook, preparing meals for people in concentrated quarantine zones. She then joined a group of 30 drivers transporting COVID-19 patients and became the only volunteer female driver in the group. Despite working until 2am every day, Nhi says she’ll keep doing this until the pandemic is under control. 

"The medical force needs more vehicles. I can drive, so I don’t mind taking COVID-19 patients to quarantine zones. We can’t fight the pandemic if everyone is afraid of being infected and unwilling to lend a helping hand," said Nhi.

Right after graduating from high school, 18-year-old Nguyen Lam Tieu Yen joined the “Go Volunteer!” group to collect test samples. She said many of her peers want to shop and cook food for people living in lockdown areas.

"I decided to join the volunteer group to help people in need despite the fact that I might easily contract the virus," said Yen.

For the past month, the kitchen at the Ho Chi Minh City Youth Social Work Center has been preparing 4,000 meals a day for workers at the city’s checkpoints and quarantine and lockdown areas. Most of the volunteers have been working, eating, and sleeping at the Center since the first day Directive 16 was imposed. Vo Quoc Binh of the Center said more than 30 young volunteers are working at full capacity to deliver meals to every corner of the city.

Every volunteer is working hard to help HCMC control the pandemic, Binh said, adding that he hopes that everybody can soon return to normal life.