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Round the clock responsibilities for dedicated medical staff

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Dr. Đoàn Thị Hoàng Anh visits a patient’s home to provide medicine and health care consultant. — Photo suckhoedoisong.vn

HCM CITY ­— Dr. Đoàn Thị Hoàng Anh will never forget the days in her career when she carried oxygen cylinders on her shoulders at the dead of night to the homes of COVID-19 patients in HCM City.

Negotiating a maze of tight alleys in an area completely unfamiliar, knowing time is of the essence when delivering the gift of life.

But Hoàng Anh, a doctor of Hà Nội’s National Burns Hospital, has no regrets about opting to travel to HCM City to help fight the pandemic.

She was put in charge of mobile medical station No. 33 in District 7’s Tân Hưng Ward with two medical students from the Military Medical Academy.

They are responsible for supporting and monitoring the health of 33 residential groups with more than 1,000 people in neighbourhood number five.

They take care of about 300 F0 patients in the area during the city’s social distancing period.

The team’s daily tasks are to monitor the health conditions of the F0 patients at home, provide medicine and oxygen cylinders, and carry out community epidemiological control including taking samples for testing and tracing.

In the very first days of her new assignment in a strange place, Dr. Hoàng Anh and the two students were overwhelmed by the dense population in a large area with so many small, zig-zagging alleys that cannot be accessed by cars or even motorbikes.

Getting to the homes was tough enough before they even managed to reach the patients.

“Many times, we had to carry oxygen cylinders on our shoulders and run as fast as possible to approach and save the patients whose houses are at the end of small alley because motorbikes could get to them,” said Hoàng Anh.

But despite being in a strange place, the doctors had to memorise the area and get used to the locality as quickly as possible.

“We had had to memorise almost every street, alley and corner of the neighbourhood,” Hoàng Anh said.

The team have to visit each household to update the health status of those living there. However, with a large population and many COVID positive patients, the medical workers are always overloading with work.

Every day, if there are no emergency calls, Dr. Hoàng Anh and her teammates went to F0 patients to hand over medicine and check their health conditions.

If there are emergency calls, they have to bring oxygen cylinders to provide emergency care for people with severe ailments and consult with specialist doctors for medical advice as well as prepare to transfer patients to hospitals as soon as possible.

“In the peak time, there were dozens of patients needing examinations, first aid, and transfer to hospitals in a day,” the doctor said.

“We always worked from morning until midnight.”

Every day, Dr. Hoàng Anh and the students receive hundreds of emergency calls.

Their personal phones became the hotline number of mobile medical station No.33.

“Our personal numbers became the station’s hotline number receiving hundreds of calls regardless day and night,” Hoàng Anh said.

“Consulting through the night or at dawn was also a familiar thing.”

At these times, Dr. Hoàng Anh and her team not only support physical healthcare but also work as psychologists.

“We received many calls from people informing us they had tested positive by quick tests or concerns of their loved ones in quarantine facilities or just expressing their anxiety, imbalance or insomnia and even anorexia,” she said

“We had to listen, comfort and give them advice.”

After calls throughout the day and night, the health workers at the mobile medical station fell exhausted and longed for familiar surroundings.

But in order to fulfil the mission of saving people, they had to put aside their personal lives.

Hoàng Anh had to send her two little children to her parents’ home in Hà Tĩnh Province to take care of them while she did her duties.

Spending all day and all night wearing protective clothing is also uncomfortable, especially in hot weather.

Despite feeling proud to serve their country in times of need, all the medical staff are longing for the day the pandemic is finally controlled, so they can return home to their families.

“I want the pandemic soon to be controlled so that I could pick up my children and reunite with my husband in Hà Nội,” said the doctor. ­—

 

 

 

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/society/1036302/round-the-clock-responsibilities-for-dedicated-medical-staff.html

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Islanders encouraged to take up organic farming

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Garlic and onion farms on the Lý Sơn Islands, off the coast of Quảng Ngãi Province. The islands have been turning to organic agriculture for more sustainable development. Photo courtesy of Lê Xuân Thọ 

LÝ SƠN ISLANDS — Organically grown crops have been designated a key part of sustainable development on the Lý Sơn Islands, 30km off the coast of central Quảng Ngãi Province. Lý Sơn garlic and onions are popular throughout the country. 

However, the transfer to organic farming faces hurdles from low productivity, a lack of policies supporting farmer-business partnerships and poor protection of the Lý Sơn garlic brand, which is discouraging farmers from organic farming.

Although earning Geographical Indication (GI) status, organic garlic and purple onion farms occupy less than one per cent of the islands’ total 330ha of farmland. 

Farmers on the islands are still hesitant to transfer from traditional agricultural practices to organic farming, fearing low productivity, high production costs and an unstable market.

 

Farmers begin a new garlic crop in Lý Sơn Islands. The Islands’ agriculture will be going ‘green’ for a better environment and income in the coming years. Photo courtesy of Phạm Văn Công 

Phạm Văn Công, CEO and founder of the DORI Joint Stock Company, said only 10 farmers over 3ha are have started organic garlic farming since 2016.

Công has seen success in processing garlic into high-value dried roots, wine and essential oil products, five years after starting to trade.

“It takes at least three years to clean the chemically contaminated farmland with bio-fertiliser, manure, humus and grass, and absorbing ‘green’ nutrition,” he explained.

“Local farmers do not have enough financial reserves to last the first years of preparation for organic-based farming,” he said.

Công also said that strong farmer-business partnerships have not yet been built to make organic farms larger on the islands.

 

Garlic growing on Lý Sơn Islands. Photo courtesy of Lê Xuân Thọ 

A report from the islands’ People’s Committee said farmers produce 2,500 tonnes of garlic and 6,500 tonnes of purple onion per year, with an annual revenue of VNĐ200 billion ($8.8 million).

Chairwoman of the Lý Sơn Islands District People’s Committee, Phạm Thị Hương, said traditional farm produce (garlic and purple onion) does not have a stable market price due to poor connections between the islands and mainland.

Hương said garlic is usually sold from VNĐ80,000 to VNĐ150,000 per kilo, but can go down to a mere VNĐ30,000. 

She said the COVID-19 pandemic has kept more than 100 tonnes of garlic on the island, and the price offered was below VNĐ30,000 per kilo. 

A few years ago, the islands original garlic suffered unfair competition from garlic produced in other provinces like Khánh Hòa and Bình Thuận.

 

Garlic roots from an organic farm on the Lý Sơn Islands of Quảng Ngãi Province. Garlic is one of the most famous exports from the islands. Photo courtesy of Dori 

Green change

The islands, known as the Kingdom of Garlic in Việt Nam, have around 22,000 inhabitants, of whom 73 per cent make their living from farming garlic and spring onions, alongside fishing.

Farmers grow garlic on terrain that formed from volcanic eruptions 25 to 30 million years ago, creating the special scent that the Lý Sơn garlic is famous for.

Traditional farming methods rely on chemicals and the over-use of natural resources, though islanders have gradually begun to recognise the dangers of environmental pollution, exhausted soil and high saline intrusion. 

Local farmers on the islands have been encouraged to apply safe farming techniques that use bio-fertiliser and bio-pesticide, rather than continuing to exploit coral sand and basalt soil as before. 

Compost livestock waste, green leaves and seaweed are used to create ‘green’ soil bases that replace these basalt and coral sand mixtures.

The first ‘green’ crop only collected 30 per cent of the traditional capacity, but yields doubled after the second and third years. Organically produced garlic also fetches a higher market price. 

Đặng Quang Trọng, who developed a 400sq.m organic farm, said each ‘green’ garlic kilo was sold for between VNĐ250,000 ($10.8) and VNĐ350,000 ($15.2).

Traditional farming requires at least 40 tonnes of chemical fertiliser and leads to 10,200cu.m of farm soil being dumped for every garlic crop produced. The 3,000sq.m dumpsite for agricultural waste on the islands was overloaded. The cost of cleaning the chemically contaminated farm soil stands at VNĐ20 billion each year, a report from the islands’ committee unveiled.

On top of this, farmers often mix sand from coastal coral reefs and basalt dug up from defunct volcanoes, which has led to serious coastal erosion and damage to the ancient volcanoes – one of the biggest tourist attractions on the island. 

Võ Trí Thời, an official from the district’s Peoples’ Committee, said the islands plan to develop 100ha of VietGAP farms that promote using compost and bio-fertiliser, instead of chemical agricultural material.

Organic farming trailblazer, Phạm Văn Công, explained that farmers need financial guarantees and supportive policies from local authorities to help them through the first three years of organic farming.

 

Garlic products, including wine, dried garlic and black garlic, on sale at a shop in Quảng Ngãi Province. Photo courtesy of Dori

“Farmers can not find support to help them survive the low output of the initial three years of changing from chemical-based agriculture to organic farming. Organic farm produce also needs sales promotions, brand protection and respect in the market,” Công said.

He agreed that organic agriculture is not easy, but success is still ahead.

“I do hope more farmers will follow our organic demonstrations to turn the islands green.”

The islands have been designed as a ‘zero’ carbon and eco-tour site, through the promotion of renewable energy projects like solar, wind, tide and desalination, which turns seawater into freshwater. —  

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/society/1063223/islanders-encouraged-to-take-up-organic-farming.html

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Residents booked for violating pandemic prevention rules on Ho Chi Minh City’s downtown pedestrian street

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Many people have been booked for violating pandemic prevention and control measures as they hang out with their friends along Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street in Ho Chi Minh City.

Residents flocked to the Nguyen Hue promenade in downtown District 1 on Thursday evening to have a walk, get some fresh air, and chat with friends, according to the observation of Tien Phong (Youth) newspaper reporters.

Many of them parked their motorbikes on the sidewalk to have a chat and grab a bite, but did not follow pandemic response measures including wearing face masks in public and keeping a safe distance.

At around 7:30 pm, a group of district-level police officers patrolled the street and booked dozens of people for wrong parking and violating pandemic prevention and control regulations.

Several violators did not cooperate at first but eventually had to accept administrative fines after the officers provided the evidence of their offenses.

In one of the cases, L.V.D., 25, was booked for failure to wear a face mask in public places and illegal parking.

As D. denied his wrongdoings, an officer showed the video footage of him pulling the face mask down to his chin while talking to his friend.

The offender had no other choice but to sign the violation record, facing fines worth VND1-3 million (US$44-132) for failure to wear face masks in public and VND200,000-300,000 ($8-13) for illegal parking.

Residents are booked for parking their motorbikes on the roadway along Nguyen Hue Walking Street in Ho Chi Minh City, October 21, 2021. Photo: D.T. / Tien Phong

Residents are booked for parking their motorbikes on the roadway along Nguyen Hue Walking Street in Ho Chi Minh City, October 21, 2021. Photo: D.T. / Tien Phong

According to Major Dinh Tien Dung, deputy head of District 1’s traffic and order police unit, many people did not put on face masks or wore them improperly.

They only put on one when they saw police officers approaching, Dung continued.

“We decided to use cameras to film their violations from afar so that they won’t be able to deny their wrongdoings,” he said.

A young man pulls down his face mask while walking on Nguyen Hue Street in Ho Chi Minh City, October 21, 2021 in this supplied photo.

A young man pulls down his face mask while walking on Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street in Ho Chi Minh City, October 21, 2021 in this supplied photo.

Major Dung added that his unit had booked more than 200 of such violations on Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street since the beginning of the week.

Ho Chi Minh City has been the hardest-hit locality since the fourth outbreak began on April 27, with over 422,200 local infections.

The city had imposed social distancing measures at various levels since May 31 before loosening multiple restrictions on October 1, because most of its adult population had been vaccinated with at least one dose.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20211022/residents-booked-for-violating-pandemic-prevention-rules-on-ho-chi-minh-citys-downtown-pedestrian-street/63726.html

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Ministry asks localities to increase inter-provincial passenger transport

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Coaches at Gia Lâm station in Hà Nội’s Long Biên District. —VNA/ Photo 

HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Transport has issued a document asking People’s Committees of cities and provinces to coordinate on the implementation of temporary guidelines on transport activities.

The measures are to ensure safe and flexible adaptation to and effective control of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government has issued Resolution No.128/NQ-CP on temporary regulations on safe and flexible adaptation to and effective control of COVID-19. To implement the resolution, the Health Ministry has promulgated temporary medical guidance and the Transport Ministry has also released temporary guidelines on transport activities in the five areas of land, inland waterway, maritime, railway and aviation. 

Therefore, to ensure smooth and concerted transport activities, People’s Committees of cities and provinces were asked to direct local agencies and units to follow the ministry’s guidelines, and instruct departments of transport to increase passenger volume on fixed intra-provincial and inter-provincial routes licensed by the provincial authorities.

The ministry also suggested localities resume other routes depending on the local level of pandemic risk, while striving to maintain from 10 per cent to a maximum 50 per cent of licensed trips per month in line with requirements in the temporary guidelines.

In a report reviewing passenger transport activities on fixed routes during one week of resumption from October 13-18, the ministry said authorities of 48 provinces and cities had allowed the resumption of inter-provincial routes, while in 15 other localities, the transport departments had submitted plans to resume routes to the municipal/provincial authorities. —

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/society/1063729/ministry-asks-localities-to-increase-inter-provincial-passenger-transport.html

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