Vietnam Railway Staff Clean & Disinfect Train Carriages As COVID-19 Community Cases Emerge

Hygiene measures in trains ramped up amid new COVID-19 community cases

After nearly 100 days with no community cases of COVID-19 reported, Vietnam has detected 4 new community casespatient 416, patient 418, patient 419, and patient 420.

All of these patients are in Da Nang and Quang Ngai, and were previously unaware that they were carrying the virus when they came in contact with a large number of people. They are all now under quarantine as well as their known contacts. One of them, Patient 419, a Quang Ngai resident, had been commuting on the 11PM SE7 train between Da Nang and Quang Ngai on 21st July.

Because the source of community infection has yet to be found, many tourists in these cities are trying to leave while others who had planned trips to these cities are cancelling their tickets.

More trains are dispatched to help passengers leave Da Nang and Quang Ngai

Image credit: Đường Sắt Việt Nam – Hành trình vạn dặm

To cater to the commuting needs of many people who are stranded in these cities, Vietnam’s Railway Train Corporation is increasing the number of trips on trains from Da Nang to Hanoi and Saigon starting today, 27th July.

Image credit: Đường Sắt Việt Nam – Hành trình vạn dặm

The SE20 trains from Da Nang to Hanoi has been added to the train schedule, departing at 6.45PM every day. Passengers travelling from Da Nang to Saigon can now board the SE27 train departing at 8.20PM on a daily basis.

Image credit: Đường Sắt Việt Nam – Hành trình vạn dặm

For a safe riding experience, all of the trains dispatched to Da Nang and Quang Ngai have been given a thorough disinfection and cleaning.

Image credit: Đường Sắt Việt Nam – Hành trình vạn dặm

Precautionary measures are also implemented at every train station, requiring all passengers to make health declarations, sanitize their hands, have their body temperatures measured before riding and after alighting, as well as to wear masks during their rides on trains from Da Nang and from Quang Ngai.

Image adapted from: Đường Sắt Việt Nam – Hành trình vạn dặm

To help passengers who have bought railway train tickets, Vietnam’s Railway Train Corporation is also offering free ticket cancelling and rescheduling for rides to Da Nang, Tam Ky, and Quang Ngai between 26th July and 12th August.

Students in Da Nang and Quang Ngai are ordered to stay home

Because these patients had been traveling without knowing that they were infected, large-scale investigations are still underway to track down those who have come in contact with these patients.

So far, nearly a thousand people who reported to have been exposed to the infected patients have been sent for testing and are under quarantine.

While the investigation is underway, the authorities of Da Nang and Quang Ngai have ordered all local students, except for those in Grade 12, to stay home from 26th July and 27th July onwards respectively.

A Saigon high school’s Class of 2020 graduation ceremony
Image credit: Tin giáo dục TP. Hồ Chí Minh

As for the National High School Graduation Exam on 8th and 9th August, schools in Da Nang and Quang Ngai have been asked to prepare preventive measures to ensure safety for the students.

These measures include setting up 2 precautionary rooms, which shall be reserved for any student showing any symptoms of COVID-19, and keeping a safe distance in the arrangement of seats in every classroom.

Let’s continue to take precautionary measures

3 months have passed since Vietnam’s government lifted restrictions on the nationwide social distancing period, and our daily lives have largely returned to normalcy. Up until 2 days ago, many of us had been freely roaming the cities, hanging out with our friends, and going to work as if the COVID-19 pandemic was no longer existent.

However, this emergence of new community cases reminds us that we’re not out of the woods yet, as long as the rest of the world is still battling the coronavirus and we lack a vaccine against it. Let’s continue to protect ourselves and the people around us by wearing masks in public, sanitizing our hands often, and holding off travel plans until the source of community infection is detected.

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Cover image adapted from: Đường Sắt Việt Nam – Hành trình vạn dặm

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Josee Ng

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