Ngo Khac Vu, a teacher in central Quang Ngai Province, has a special way of spreading updated information on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to those with limited internet access.
|Ngo Khac Vu distributes face masks to traders at a local market in Mo Duc District in central Quang Ngai Province. Photo tuoitre.vn|
At 5.30 am every morning, Vu grabs a bag containing leaflets on COVID-19, medical face masks and boxes of soap and rides his bike to local markets in his hometown in Mo Duc District.
At these markets, he approaches people who do not wear face masks, mostly elderly people and traders, and gives each a box of soap, a medical face mask and the leaflet on preventive measures to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’ve got the information from the Ministry of Health and print it out for local people. I’ve got a printer, so it’s convenient to make these leaflets as a way of protecting myself and the community,” he told Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) newspaper.
Vu is a teacher at Mo Duc 2 High School in Mo Duc District. In the middle of March, the school was required to temporarily close to prevent the spread of the disease. Vu came to a local market and realised few people, especially the elderly who were the most vulnerable to the pandemic, did not wear face masks.
He asked an elderly woman why she didn’t wear a face mask and received an indifferent attitude from the old woman.
Vu thought he must do something to improve it.
Giving them information alone would bring little effectiveness. A bag of gifts, including a face mask and soaps for them to use instantly, would be a better solution.
Vu decided to spend his money on the two essential items. He started giving out gifts combined with information on COVID-19 at local markets in Duc Chanh, Duc Nhuan, Duc Hiep, Duc Thang, and Duc Loi communes.
The first photos on his act of kindness on Facebook received attention and support from netizens. The more people found out about his act, the more money he has received to continue the job.
Vu purchased anti-bacterial cloth masks as they can be reusable. He told traders and street vendors to read carefully the guidelines on how to use the face masks, reminded them to wash their hands regularly and instructed them to provide medical declarations in case they owned a smartphone.
So far, approximately 3,500 face masks have been distributed to local people.
Ba Phuong, a 76-year-old resident in Duc Chanh Commune, said she got used to wearing face masks whenever she went out. She even asked her children to buy and wear face masks and clean their hands right after they went home.
Vu also distributed face masks at the reception office of the local people’s committee and health clinics of five communes as a way of supporting those who worked for local people during the pandemic crisis.
Le Minh Viet, chairman of Duc Loi Commune’s People’s Committee said the face masks were put in the office for those who needed them.
Currently, Vu said he ordered an enterprise in central Da Nang City to make cloth face masks to distribute to patients and their relatives at Quang Ngai General Hospital.
“I just want to make a humble contribution to the fight against the disease and help stamping out the disease soon,” he said.
Initiative on disseminating COVID-19 information
|Nguyen Vang Loc carries a speaker to disseminate information on COVID-19 pandemic in his hometown in northern Lang Son Province. Photo tienphong.vn|
Nguyen Vang Loc, a 70-year-old man in the northern mountainous province of Lang Son, has his own way of disseminating information on COVID-19 to local people in his hometown.
Loc contacted a local Youth Union in Dong Dang Town in Cao Loc District to gather instructions from the Government and the province about the prevention of the COVID-19 epidemic. He then summarised it, recorded it on his cell phone and used a speaker to disseminate the information.
Almost every day, Loc rides his motorbike carrying the loudspeaker disseminating the latest information on the epidemic around the town. He has been doing it since February.
Nguyen Thi Ngoc, a trader at Dong Dang Market, said she heard the information from Loc twice a day at 6.30am and 5pm.
“We like the information from Loc as he always updates the information and includes guidelines from the health sector on what we should do and how we do it to stay safe,” she told Tiền Phong (Vaguards) newspaper.
Lam Quach Nhu, secretary of the Dong Dang Town Youth Union said Loc, in coordination with local youth, has strengthened dissemination on the COVID-19 prevention.
The work has attracted a large number of people and improved the public awareness of the pandemic, he added. VNS
Loudspeakers, text messages, public notices and elevator screens are being used in Hanoi and other provinces to keep people updated about the prevention of COVID-19.
Hanoi has listed ten acts of violation and corresponding punishments ranging from administrative fine to criminal prosecution.