“I shed tears every time I think about the motherland’s sentiment for us. I’m very happy. I just want to say I am very grateful,” said Nguyen Quang Trieu, a worker who recently returned from Equatorial Guinea.
Ms. Pham Thi Tam from Kim Bang district in Ha Nam province stood under the eaves of a checkpoint outside the large gate of the Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases to stay away from the rain while her eyes turned to the hospital lobby. The steady rain at the end of the summer had not ceased from the early morning, limiting Tam’s view.
“My family members haven't come out yet. I have been looking for them a while but I have not seen them yet,” Tam said.
Like Tam, many people stood outside the hospital gate to wait for their family members who had returned from Equatorial Guinea and were going to leave the hospital after 16 days of quarantine.
Many people stood outside the hospital gate to wait for their family members
The people waiting told VietNamNet that their family members had worked in Equatorial Guinea from six months to several years.
Tam's family is a special case with three family members working together in Equatorial Guinea, the husband, son and brother-in-law. They have been away from home for nearly 20 months.
Tam said since June, when she heard that the coronavirus situation in the host country was serious, she felt a fire in her heart every day. However, she had been trying to be tough to encourage the family to wait for the return of the three members.
On July 28, reading the news of a flight to the remote Central African country to bring Vietnamese workers home, Tam burst into tears with happiness.
At 11am, on August 14, the group of workers began to move to the car. People in remote provinces were picked up by their company's buses, while others were taken home by their families.
From afar, Tam saw her 22-year-old son Nguyen Duc Trong. “I'm very happy. It’s been a long time away from home,” Trong, Tam’s brother-in-law, said.
Tam's son - Nguyen Duc Trong
Trong prepared luggage to return home
Tam’s husband, Nguyen Quang Trieu, could not hide his emotion during the moment of reunion. Having tested positive for Covid-19 in the host country, Trieu was desperate. He called his journey back home a "miracle".
Fortunately, after returning to Vietnam, Trieu no longer showed signs of illness. Three consecutive tests were negative. He was able to leave the hospital after a two-week quarantine.
Mr. Nguyen Quang Trieu
Like Tam, Ms. H, 31, from My Duc District, Hanoi stood in front of the Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases very early to wait for her relatives. She was there at 5am, while the announcement of the quarantine ending started at 9am in the pouring rain.
“I rode a motorbike from home to here at dawn. Last night, I was awake with joy and anxiety. My mother-in-law and I have been waiting for my husband for so long,” H. said.
H. and her husband packed their luggage neatly before going home.
Cars taking patients home leave the gate of the Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases.
Mr. Nguyen Quang Trieu said that after returning home, he, his son and his brother-in-law would isolate themselves in a private house for 14 days to ensure the safety of the people around them.
Before the car left, Trieu waved to others the last time, shouting: "Thank you Government, thank you doctors!"
On August 14, a total of 183 Vietnamese citizens returning from Equatorial Guinea ended the quarantine period and returned home. The group had been quarantined immediately upon arrival in Vietnam and they all tested negative for SARS-CoV-2.
Nguyen Lien - Le Anh Dung
Today, August 14, 183 Vietnamese citizens returning from Equatorial Guinea officially ended the quarantine process to go home after three times tested negative to SARS-CoV-2 virus.
“We’re about to go home” was something Vietnam Airlines’ flight attendants said repeatedly to Vietnamese citizens on a flight from Equatorial Guinea a couple of days ago.