|Military Zone 7 personnel deliver essential goods and cash to small-scale traders in District 7, HCM city. (Photo: VOV)
Located near an export processing zone about 7km from the city center, District 7 has many boarding houses occupied by workers and street vendors.
Social distancing imposed to contain the epidemic has burdened the lives of these people, who no longer have any source of income. They depend for their daily meals on the support of local authorities and charity groups.
65-year-old Do Thi Lua of the northern province of Thai Binh, who is boarding in Tan Hung ward, said she and her neighbors are very moved to receive food and a small amount of cash from the soldiers.
Lua told VOV, “I’m from the north and live on small-scale trading. Because of the epidemic, I haven’t earned an honest penny for 3 months. I’ve received vegetables, fruits, and rice, but this is the first time I’ve received cash. The soldiers’ care gives us greater confidence.”
Two weeks ago, the 7-member family of Pham Tuan Kiet in District 4 exclaimed with joy when the soldiers of Military Zone 7, who defend southeast Vietnam, brought them a “welfare bag”, containing a week’s worth of essential goods and 1 million VND (44 USD) in cash.
|Corps 4 members coordinate with the local military force to distribute relief food to people in Binh Chanh district, HCM city. (Photo: VOV)
Like hundreds of other recipients in the area, Kiet said he feels better now about cooperating with drastic epidemic prevention measures.
“Due to the long epidemic, we have run out of food and money. The landlord has waived our rent for one month, and other fees like electricity and water have been deferred. Without State and army support, it would be impossible for us to survive the pandemic," said Kiet.
As of the end of August, more than 4,200 military personnel from Military Region 7 and Military Region 9, and hundreds of medics have been sent to Ho Chi Minh City to help fight the COVID-19.
In addition to providing logistical support, the troops enforce social distancing measures and ensure public security and social order.
Nguyen Phuoc Trung Hau, Deputy Director of Politics of Division 302, Military Region 7, said, “Our personnel have been assigned to receive, transport, and deliver essential goods to different localities and individual households in the city. We have set up mobile medical teams to help take samples for COVID-19 testing.”
By Sunday, HCMC had recorded more than 245,000 coronavirus cases, accounting for half of Vietnam’s total count.