Israeli Deputy Ambassador: I am lucky to be in Vietnam during Covid-19 pandemic
I am lucky to be here in Vietnam, which is very safe and has coped with the pandemic so well, since now I can resume a normal life and work routine, Deputy Ambassador of Israel to Vietnam Shirel Levi told VietNamNet’s Thai An.
Deputy Ambassador of Israel to Vietnam Shirel Levi
Q: The Covid-19 pandemic broke out shortly after you took office in Vietnam. Can you tell us about your experiences during this special period?
A: When acquiring a new post, it takes a few months to pick up everything, learn about your country of posting, and plan activities.
We had many activities planned after Tet, and then the pandemic broke. So of course it was quite disappointing for me not to be able to conduct all the activities we had on the table. However, this pandemic is a global crisis and we are all in it together.
I am lucky to be here in Vietnam, which is very safe and has coped with the pandemic so well, since now I can resume a normal life and work routine.
I cannot say the same for my colleagues around the world. So despite the fact many activities were cancelled, I feel lucky and safe here, and I have even more motivation to continue and work towards enhancing the relations between Israel and Vietnam.
Q: What were your feelings during the period of social distancing in Vietnam?
A: During these days, Vietnam saw the people wearing masks and practicing social distancing.
The Vietnamese people have shown great responsibility and have taken all the instructions of social distancing and mask wearing very seriously. I felt very safe from the beginning and I can see that there is a lot of awareness about the situation. Due to the cautiousness of the Vietnamese people and the actions taken by the Vietnamese government quickly, we can now see the situation in Vietnam is very good.
Q: You said that when the pandemic broke out, your family was very worried and told you to return to Israel, and you decided to stay here. Why did you make that decision?
A: Parents, no matter where they are from or how old their children are, always worry about their children’s well-being. At first the pandemic began in Asia, so it seemed safer if we returned home.
Nevertheless, from the beginning we had the feeling that everything will be okay. The schools in Vietnam closed quickly and I could tell that the situation was being taken seriously in Vietnam.
Moreover, especially in times like this, it is important that embassies remain in their host countries, to provide consular services to their citizens and help them return home, as well as to stay by the side of the host country and assist if possible.
Our embassy, for example, donated rice in Hanoi as part of the Rice ATM initiative. My family understands all this, and is hoping to be able to visit here soon.
Q: What do you think about Vietnam’s prevention of the Covid-19 epidemic? The pandemic seems to be defeated in Vietnam right now. Do you plan to discover famous tourist destinations in Vietnam?
A: I find that Vietnam reacted to the crisis very quickly and effectively, and the results speak for themselves. I have so many places in Vietnam that I wish to visit as soon as possible: Phong Nha, Hue, Phu Quoc, Da Nang, Nha Trang and Dalat are all on my to do list!