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Ho Chi Minh City citizens show kindness amid Covid-19 lockdown

Valerie Mai Valerie Mai

mnghonganh@gmail.com

June 15, 2021 | 16:24

Ho Chi Minh City has shown a chivalrous and tolerant spirit during its Covid lockdown, with many landlords generously waiving a rental fees, and donors distributing gifts and necessities to the poor

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Landlords reduce house rent, send gifts to poor workers

Sympathizing with the difficulties of renters and workers during the pandemic lockdown period Nguyen Van Hon, 61, a landlord in Binh Thanh district, has reduced his rental fees by 50%. A sign saying "Uncle Bay's [Hon's nickname] rooms for rent: 50% off June rental" is hung in front of a house in an alley on Binh Quoi Street. Since the early days of social distancing. Hon's family was the first to offer such a discount in the alley.

Chau, Hon's daughter, told Zing News: "My tenants are mainly students, taxi drivers and poor households. The blockade order restricts anyone from entering or exiting the city, so they cannot go to work. Aside from reducing the house rent, my parents also give them free rice, noodles and necessities during the quarantine."

Ho Chi Minh City citizens show kindness amid Covid-19 lockdown
Hon and his wife, two among many Ho Chi Minh city landlords reducing house rent amid the lockdown. (Photo: Zing News)
Ho Chi Minh City citizens show kindness amid Covid-19 lockdown
Gift prepares for the renters. (Photo: Zing News)

Hon is not the only landlord in Ho Chi Minh City that lower rental fee in the difficult period. Nguyen Van Toi (57 years old) who has more than 30 rooms for rent, did not hesitate to reduce 50% of the rental fee in June for all tenants. "Tenants are like my neighbors. Reducing rental fees only means sharing love and caress for each other," said Toi.

Many other landloreds in the alley have also reduced the rent. Nguyen Thi Kim Chau, 32, has a hostel with 14 rooms, each costs from VND 1.8 to 2 million (US$ 78-87) per month. Her tenants come from all over the country, mainly earn their living through selling lottery tickets and building houses. These people, already poor, are now struggling with the whole area quarantined.

Ho Chi Minh City citizens show kindness amid Covid-19 lockdown
A sign saying: 50% off for rental fees in June. (Photo: Zing News)

Free cake and milk for the poor

During the blockade against the Covid-19 pandemic, many people in Go Vap sent free meals to support the poor in this difficult time. Pham Thi Chinh, a pharmacist, and her friends opened a cake and milk stall where the poor can stop by to receive free cakes. Chinh said that she and her friends set up the cake stall out of sympathy for working people who are having difficulty in the pandemic.

Ho Chi Minh City citizens show kindness amid Covid-19 lockdown
During the blockade against the Covid-19 pandemic, many people in Go Vap sent free meals to support the poor. (Photo: Zing News)
Ho Chi Minh City citizens show kindness amid Covid-19 lockdown
Chinh gives each person who stops by her stall a sweet cake and bottle of soy milk. (Photo: Zing News)

“During the lockdown, many people lost their jobs. We're sad seeing the uncles and aunts who live by selling garbage or lottery tickets now struggle as they cannot sell anything, and cannot earn any money to buy food. Thanks to the enthusiastic support from my friends, the cake stall has helped many people in need," Chinh said.

Chinh gives each person who stops by her stall a sweet cake and a bottle of soy milk. She sometimes gives out instant noodles, instant porridge and milk for those in need. Depending on the funds raised, the team will buy cakes and water to distribute each day.

Ho Chi Minh City citizens show kindness amid Covid-19 lockdown
(Photo: Zing News)

In addition to the cake stall fixed on Le Van Tho Street, the group also brings cakes to police officers and volunteers working at the blockade posts. When handing out cakes, Chinh and her team always wear masks, rubber gloves, and prepare hand sanitizer for everyone to use.

“Since photos of our stall were posted on Facebook, many donors have also offered to contribute. In the coming days, we plan to buy more sweet potatoes from the Dong Thap agricultural product rescue campaign to serve people," Chinh said when asked about her future plan.

Ho Chi Minh City citizens show kindness amid Covid-19 lockdown
In addition to the cake stall fixed on Le Van Tho Street, the group also brings cakes to police officers and volunteers. (Photo: Zing News)

8 tons of sweet potatoes handed out

Since June 5, Dat and Nga (owners of a pharmacy in Go Vap District) along with other drugstore owners have donated money to buy sweet potatoes to give people in the area.

“We distributed eight tons of sweet potatoes in four days. We call these them the 'sharing sweet potatoes' because the food not only supports people in the lockdown area, but also supports agricultural produce in the western provinces," Dat told Zing News.

Ho Chi Minh City citizens show kindness amid Covid-19 lockdown
8 tons of sweet potatoes given out for free (Photo: Zing News)
Ho Chi Minh City citizens show kindness amid Covid-19 lockdown
Dat and his friends buy sweet potato (Photo: Zing News)

When Go Vap district had to implement a blockade order, Dat himself faced difficulties in business.

“There are a few F1, F2 cases around my house, but the situation here is not as stressful as some other places in the district. Because of the lockdown order, many people faced hardship in their work," he said.

Living in a dangerous outbreak, Dat and his family try to keep their spirits up, regularly update themselves with information on disease developments and regulations to cope with the current wave.

Ho Chi Minh City started its 15-day social distancing from May 31 and has extended the order until the end of June amid the complex development of coronavirus outbreaks in the city.

Under the order, non-essential services and businesses in HCMC will continue to be halted, including no gatherings of five or more in public outdoor areas allowed, while people (especially those over 60 years old ) are advised to stay home for all but essential purposes and should keep a distance of 2 meters from others as part of social distancing.

Seven weeks into the new wave, Vietnam has recorded local Covid-19 cases in 40 cities and provinces, in which Ho Chi Minh City has logged 894 cases. A total of 10,630 cases have been reported across the nation.

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Valerie Mai