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Overseas Vietnamese communities in EU unite in COVID-19 combat

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08:29 | 03/04/2020

Overseas Vietnamese people were quick to respond, mobilize to help out, with the aim of slowing the spread of COVID-19 in their host countries.

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Vietnamese women in Berlin have been sewing home-made masks that are distributed by civil society groups to social care institutions including old people’s homes.

According to the World Health Organization's Europe branch, there were 464,859 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 30,098 deaths in the 53 countries that make up its region.

In the center of the outbreak, Vietnamese citizens living in some European countries have united in initiatives, movements to give back to the communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Vietnamese community in Germany has presented over 9,000 face masks, disinfectants and gloves to help German doctors, police in the fight against the COVID-19.

In Berlin, Chung Tay (Joining Hands) a Vietnamese charity group donated 1,400 self-made masks, 6,000 medical masks, 12,000 gloves, 30 bottles of disinfectant spray for hospitals and nursing homes.

The charity group said it would continue to use cash donations to buy medical masks, gloves, disinfectants and cloths to make fabric masks to support hospitals and health centers in the near future.

The group is also calling on the Vietnamese community to provide free meals for medical staff on the front lines against COVID-19. There are now two Vietnamese restaurants that have serves dozens of meals to people working in emergency departments.

In addition to Berlin, Vietnamese in some other states and cities in Germany also donated and sewed home-made masks to support hospitals and medical centers where they lived. In Cottbus, Vietnamese people have donated 700 self-made masks to the city’s hospital.

Vietnamese Association of Hungary launched a campaign to raise money to support the COVID-19 fight. People in the community enthusiastically responded to the call. In just one week from March 22 to 30, the campaign raised EUR 22,000 (USD 23.834) which is used to buy medical masks, gloves, and disinfectant solution. Part of the money is used to support people affected by the epidemic in the community.

In addition to the campaign launched by the Association, many Vietnamese individuals and businesses in Hungary also actively support and support necessities for health facilities where they lived.

When face masks stocks began running low in the Czech Republic, minority communities, including the country’s Vietnamese population, have been sewing home-made masks and giving them to people and places in need. Within days, the Czech Vietnamese were able to deliver thousands of fabric face masks to hospitals, retirement homes, and police stations across the country. In many Vietnamese grocery stores, free face masks and gloves are offered to customers.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese restaurants and food stores have also shouldered responsibility by offering police as well as health and emergency workers free food and drinks like tea and coffee.

Vietnamese restaurants offer free delivery and Nguyen Hong Dang is one of many who participated. His beverage distribution company provided drinks to the leading Prague hospital dealing with the highest number of cases, as well as the police.

“We just wanted to provide to those working endless hours on the front lines. It is very important for them to stay sufficiently hydrated or regain energy,” he told the Vietnamese Embassy in Prague.

Through social media, a local association of Vietnamese - Lam Cha Me CZ (Being Parents in Czech) was the first to respond to an urgent call for face masks from one of Prague’s hospitals and organised a group of women to sew them. So far, on their fundraiser account people have already donated more than USD 6.304, which will be used to purchase material needed for face masks.

Vietnamese people in the Czech Republic have shown solidarity with the local community, with many different kinds of people contributing to the cause. Materials have been shared, some companies have made old stock available, and their movements have given many members of the population an opportunity to become directly involved in fighting the spread of the virus./.

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