Nation must never forget silent sacrifice made in COVID-19 fight
Many key workers such as police officers, soldiers, and nurses have died during the country’s fight against COVID-19, and their silent sacrifice should be honoured nationwide.
The fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic started in late April and has left more than 23,000 people dead nationwide, with 74% of deaths being recorded in Ho Chi Minh City alone.
A great loss to a nurse’s family
When the latest wave of the pandemic broke out in late April, the Intensive Care Unit of Gia Dinh People’s Hospital, where nurse Tran Thi Phuong Hang was working, was swiftly converted into a place specifically to treat COVID-19 patients. Hang then volunteered to take care of F0 cases.
She later tested positive for the virus and received treatment in hospital before being discharged on August 1. She went to her home town in Xuan Loc district of Dong Nai province to undergo home quarantine according to COVID-19 guidelines for recoveries.
Two weeks later she felt shortness of breath and was immediately transferred to a local medical station for medical surveillance. However, the situation was urgent and efforts to save her become too late. She died leaving behind her husband and two children aged 12 and 14.
Hang’s husband, Nguyen Quoc Dung, said he didn’t have a single chance to meet and talk to his wife when she became critical and later died in hospital. Indeed, he didn’t think the day when she had arranged his belongings for work was the last time they met each other.
“Her passing is a great loss to my family. Now I will replace her to take care of both my children,” said Dung, who will turn 50 next year.
Incomplete future plans
For more than two months local people living in lane 608 of An Duong Vuong street in District No6 have rarely seen Phan Tan Ngoc and his wife Le Thi Diem Thuy go out of their house for work. The house had previously been open and full of smiles, but now it remains closed throughout the day.
Captain Phan Tan Tai, the only son of the couple, died whilst searching for a group of people who had violated COVID-19 prevention and control regulations. He passed away at the age of 30, leaving behind his relatives, including his ageing parents, as well as his prospective wife and their incomplete future plans.
“My mother always bursts out crying when someone asks her about my brother,” said Phan Thi Cam Tien, Captain Tai’s younger sister. “My father has climbed up to my brother’s room to sleep since his passing and he has rarely gone down stairs.”
Tien recalled Captain Tai was a reconnaissance officer of the Drug Crime Investigation Team of District 6 in Ho Chi Minh City. When the COVID-19 outbreak reached its peak, he was assigned to join the southern city’s fight.
More than two months ago his parents fainted after hearing the news of Tai’s sacrifice at work.
“Since his death, my dad has not talked much while my mother has cried all the time, and I really don't know how to help my parents to overcome this sorrow,” Tien confided.
COVID-19 so scary
Similarly to Captain Tai, Nguyen Van Thuc, head of a residential area in Ward 17 of Go Vap district, also died of COVID-19 while at work. He was later posthumously awarded the Government’s Certificate of Merit.
When the outbreak recurred in Vietnam, he joined a team in charge of monitoring, supervising, and handling cases of violations of regulations on pandemic prevention and control. Every day, he guarded a checkpoint and delivered daily essential goods to people residing in lockdown areas.
Thuc’s daughter Nguyen Thi Thao, 30, said her father was a retired military officer. During the height of the outbreak, he left the house very early and returned home at as late as 9 p.m. to wash and spend time with his family, before later travelling back to the checkpoint. When he missed his wife and children, he asked others to take pictures of him to send them back to the family.
Thao recalled that on July 18 her father had a fever and felt fatigued after a regular shift at the checkpoint. Later test results showed that he had been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It was only 10 days later when he passed away, his wife also died of COVID-19.
“It’s a nightmare that my parents had died, and I feel very lonely now,” Thao said, bursting into tears, “It’s sad that they had passed away in hospital without seeing their relatives… COVID is so scary.”
With the fight against COVID-19 reaching its peak and the country striving to enter a new normal period, the silent sacrifice of frontline forces should be honoured nationwide.