Vietnamese in India fearful amidst Covid-19 storm

Vietnamese in India, the world’s current Covid-19 epicenter, are fearful of the country's drastic spike in new cases of the coronavirus
April 28, 2021 | 12:10
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Vietnamese in India fearful amidst Covid-19 storm
Relatives wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) mourn a man, who died from COVID-19, at a crematorium in New Delhi. Photo: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

"The epidemic is rampant," Hien Nguyen told Vnexpress, referring to the effect of the epidemic in Maharastra State’s most populous city, Mumbai, where she lives.

Hien’s family has lived in anxiety as many people in her neighborhood have been infected with the novel coronavirus, but many fail to isolate, don't make health declarations, and roam freely.

Hien has been married to an Indian national for 10 years. After experiencing two Covid-19 outbreaks in India, Hien initially felt extremely worried but now she stays calm and has learned to live with it.

“Everyone in my family reminds each other to eat healthily and stay clean and hygienic to prevent Covid-19. The most important thing is not having to hospitalize,” she said.

Hien’s father-in-law has made efforts to procure medicines and ventilators for relatives as all hospitals aren’t available. “My uncle-in-law, 71, succumbed to Covid-19. As many as ten of my husband’s relatives have contracted the virus,” Hien said.

Hien's family was lucky to receive the Covid-19 vaccines in March and April. However, everyone is remaining vigilant as the family has an elderly member as well as a 16-month-old child.

Vietnamese in India fearful amidst Covid-19 storm
Health workers attend to a suspected COVID-19 patient in Mumbai. Photo: Divyakant Solanki/EPA

Dat, a Vietnamese businessman trading raw cashew nuts in Tamil Nadu State, said the Covid-19 situation in his city, Tuticorin, had not been as serious as that of other major cities. The authorities only put the city under lockdown on April 25. Locals can currently move freely but need to wear face masks. Gatherings of more than 20 people are also prohibited.

"I refrain from coming into contact with others and only work online. This Covid-19 wave has exerted an adverse impact on my work,” Dat said.

Medicines and face masks in Tuticorin are abundant, but their prices are two to three times more expensive than usual, according to Dat.

Dat was very worried when one of his neighbors tested positive for the virus, and contacted the Vietnamese Embassy in India asking for the repatriation flight. “My desire now is to come back to Vietnam safely,” he said.

Vietnamese in India fearful amidst Covid-19 storm
Mass cremation of victims who died due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19), is seen at a crematorium ground in New Delhi, India, on April 22, 2021. Photo: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui

Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang said on April 26 that the Ministry and representative agencies in India had worked closely with authorized agencies at home and in the host country as well as with airlines to organize flights to bring nearly 1,000 Vietnamese citizens home safely.

Currently, there are about 100 Vietnamese citizens in India, she said, adding that Vietnamese representative agencies in India were coordinating closely with authorized agencies at home and in India to keep a close watch on the pandemic, maintain a contact channel with the Vietnamese citizens, and be ready to conduct necessary citizen protection measures.

For those seeking support or want to report information on Vietnamese facing difficulties, citizens can contact the embassy via its citizen protection hotline at 91-7303-625-588 or the citizen protection switchboard at 84-981-848-484, she added.

With 3,306 new deaths registered as of 11 p.m. on April 27, India’s recorded Covid-19 death tally crossed the 200,000 mark. It was also the first instance when the daily deaths crossed the 3,000-mark since the beginning of the pandemic. The country’s cumulative fatalities stood at 201,186. Only the U.S. (570,000), Brazil (390,000), and Mexico (215,000) have registered a higher toll, said the Hindu.

As of April 26, India surpassed Brazil’s average number of new deaths to become the country with the most daily fatalities.

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