Monday, November 29, 2021, 05:59 (GMT+7)

Monday, October 04, 2021, 13:14 (GMT+7)
Ho Chi Minh municipal armed forces in the vanguard of the fight against COVID-19

The 4th wave of COVID-19 has profoundly impacted on Vietnam and especially Ho Chi Minh City - a socio-economic and transport centre of the South and the whole country. Under the spirit of “fighting the pandemic like fighting enemies,” the municipal armed forces have promoted their vanguard, core role in the fight against COVID-19, which has been acknowledged and highly appreciated by local party committees, authorities, and citizens.

Immediately after the outbreak of COVID-19 in the city, the Municipal Military Party Committee (MMPC) and the Municipal Military Command (MMC) have synchronously adopted preventive measures within offices and units, while giving advice to the Municipal Party Committee, the Municipal People’s Committee, and the Military Region 7 on epidemic prevention and control under the five on-the-spot motto1. At the same time, they have directed offices, units, and localities to develop plans for epidemic prevention and control and prepare personnel, means, equipment, and materials for this work in various degrees. The military medical force has conducted screenings to avoid infection within offices and units, closely managed medical condition of cadres, soldiers, and members of the militia and self-defence force, strictly maintained shifts for situations, and cooperated with localities in monitoring and supervising the epidemic. Due to the rapid, widespread outbreak of the epidemic in a short period of time, in addition to directing offices and units to actively make necessary preparations, the MMPC and the MMC have proactively advised the Military Region 7 and the Ministry of National Defence to deploy over 10,000 cadres, soldiers, doctors, nurses, and medical cadets together with a great deal of means and medical equipment to the city for epidemic prevention and control. They have also taken measures of urgency to prevent the epidemic’s spread, actively treat severe cases, and minimise fatalities.

Providing support for the people

To effectively prevent and combat the epidemic, the MMPC and the MMC have stepped up the work of information and propagation relating to COVID-19 to increase cadres, soldiers, and citizens’ vigilance. Rapporteurs and mobile working teams at all levels have encouraged their role in the work of propagation, while taking advantage of internal radio systems, slogans, mobile propaganda vehicles, portable speakers, leaflets, and open letters to conduct propagation and create a consensus amongst the people about solutions and strategies for epidemic prevention and control designed by the Party, the State, and local party committees and authorities. Due attention has been paid to cooperating with press agencies in releasing and spreading positive information and effective, creative approaches of cadres and soldiers of the municipal armed forces, orientating public opinion, proactively fighting against wrong information about epidemic prevention and control,  and combating distortions of the virtues of “Uncle Ho’s soldiers” and the Military’s function and task on the Internet and social networks, thereby encouraging cadres, soldiers, reservists, and members of the militia and self-defence force to surmount difficulties, hardships, dangers in the fight against COVID-19.

Under the motto of “keeping calm, proactively, drastically, promptly tracking infection, localising and eliminating the epidemic,” the MMPC and the MMC have opportunely worked with the Municipal Department of Health and competent offices to help the Municipal People’s Committee establish the Municipal Headquarters for epidemic prevention and control and formulate regulations for the operation of quarantine zones and COVID-19 treatment hospitals under the city’s management. The MMC has proactively recommended the Municipal People’s Committee to implement 13 groups of solutions of urgency for COVID-19 prevention and control and set up 62 COVID-19 treatment hospitals; the military has served and managed 20 hospitals and 8 quarantine zones with over 6,000 beds. Besides, the MMC has proactively developed plans/projects and organised forces to stringently maintain and serve quarantine zones, field hospitals, and social distancing. It has deployed hundreds of cadres, officers, and professional service men and women from its affiliated offices and units to military commands of Thu Duc city and other districts, while mobilising more than 36,000 cadres, soldiers, and members of the militia and self-defence force for quarantine centres, COVID-19 treatment field hospitals, and lockdown areas within localities where cadres and soldiers of the MMC have provided food and supplies for patients, received and delivered hundreds of tons of goods from the Ministry of National Defence, military regions, divisions, brigades, localities, charities, and sponsors to citizens. The Regiment Gia Dinh and the Military Police Battalion 31 have cooperated with other functional forces in conducting patrols to make the people comply with regulations on epidemic prevention and control at 12 municipal-level checkpoints and 251 others within districts and the city of Thu Duc, opportunely deal with situations, and maintain political security and social order and safety.

Grasping the Prime Minister’s directions: “the people’s safety first” and “no one will be left behind,” the MMC has directed offices and units to ensure the people’s life. Offices and units have brought into play their internal strength to step up animal/crop husbandry, encouraged charitable donation amongst their cadres and soldiers, and received the great support from others’ staff members and citizens all over the country to give assistance to people in difficulty within the city. They have organised “zero dong markets” at the districts, namely 12, Binh Tan, Go Vap, and Binh Chanh and the city of Thu Duc, worth billions of VND, while collaborating with the Division 5 and the Division 302 in providing food and products of animal/crop husbandry for the people, worth more than 500 million VND. They have received, transported, and distributed 821.7 tons of goods worth over 60 billion VND from military units, and cooperated with the Municipal Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee and the Municipal Women’s Union in receiving and transporting 1,234 tons of goods worth more than 240 billion VND from individuals, organisations, enterprises, and citizens across the country to quarantine zones, field hospitals, charitable kitchens, and persons in difficulty. The MMC has organised a high-peak operation to present 100,000 gifts to the people, with a view to encouraging and enabling the people to overcome difficulties caused by the epidemic so that “no one would be left behind.” Offices and units of the MMC have opportunely given encouragements to cadres and soldiers infected with COVID-19 and families of their staff members performing the task of epidemic prevention and control, with the total cost of more than 500 million VND.

Due to the complex developments of COVID-19 and an increase in deaths from the pandemic, the Military Region 7, the Municipal Party Committee, and the Municipal People’s Committee have assigned cadres and soldiers of the municipal armed forces to preserve, wrap, and cremate bodies of COVID-19 patients and then hand over their ashes to their families. The MMC has established 9 special task teams to perform this task and another one to transport and deliver ashes of COVID-19 patients. It has directed the military commands of Thu Duc city and districts to set up teams to receive and handle bodies of COVID-19 patients, preserve, transport, and hand over their ashes to their families. Being aware that “the sense of the dead is that of the final” as a national traditional trait, cadres and soldiers of the municipal armed forces have extremely devotedly, carefully performed this task to make contributions to easing the pain of unfortunate families during the pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic will be still complex; therefore, to well perform the assigned mission, the municipal armed forces of Ho Chi Minh shall grasp higher echelons’ resolutions and directives on COVID-19 prevention and control and give advice on maintaining a balance between the defence-security work, socio-economic development, and the fight against the pandemic. In this regard, pandemic prevention and control must be seen as the top priority to bring peace and happiness to the people.

Maj. Gen. PHAN VAN XUNG, Commissar of the MMC

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1. On-the-spot force, on-the-spot command, on-the-spot materials and equipment, on-the-spot medicine, and on-the-spot task

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