Former COVID-19 patient donates sanitizer


Vietnam previously enjoyed a long period of 100 days without transmissions of COVID-19 in the community, but after the virus resurged in the central city of Đà Nẵng in late July, the country has been reporting new cases of infections almost on a daily basis.

For the vast majority of us, however, these reports are just numbers telling us how the pandemic situation is developing. Not often does it occur to us that behind each of the codenames such as “Patient 91” or “Patient 687” is a human being with emotions, needs, wants, or in this one particular patient’s case, a desire to contribute back to the community.

Following his recovery from COVID-19, Mai Anh Đức, or Patient 687, has started a project to donate sanitizer to hospitals in Đà Nẵng.


His plan was delayed as he was infected by the virus



Image credit: Mai Anh Đức

Ever since the second COVID-19 outbreak first began in Đà Nẵng, Mai Anh Đức – a local man who would later go on to become Vietnam’s COVID-19 Patient 687 – had come up with a plan to provide sanitizer to frontline hospitals in the city, as there was high demand.

With a professional background in the trading of imported water purification equipment, Đức did his research and found that there’s a machine from Japan capable of producing sanitizer that can kill up to 99.9% of germs, meeting the standards of the Ho Chi Minh City Pasteur Institute. He contacted a friend from Hồ Chí Minh City who has the resources to acquire such machines, and the latter agreed to provide the equipment to put Đức’s plan into practice.


Đức’s team has been working hard to provide sanitizer to frontline hospitals
Image credit: Mai Anh Đức

Unfortunately, Đức’s project suffered a major setback after he was confirmed positive for COVID-19. Understandably, this came as a crushing blow to the man.

“Just went I thought things were going well, bam! My kid and I contracted the virus. My family was separated for quarantine, and so were many members of my company. The equipment arrived on the very same day my home was locked down, so the delivery staff couldn’t reach me. I tried to have it delivered to one of my family members but couldn’t, and the package was sent back to Hồ Chí Minh City. I was devastated upon hearing the news. There goes my plan, I thought,” Đức wrote on his Facebook page.


But he was still determined to go through with his plans



The sanitizer has been delivered to many frontline hospitals in Đà Nẵng
Image credit: Mai Anh Đức

Yet while the challenge was great, Đức’s determination to contribute to the community was greater still. As his condition improved over the next few days, Đức called his friend again and convinced him to send the equipment over again, this time to his brother’s house instead. Thanks to his persistence, the plan was finally put into motion following his discharge on 14th August.

“I will continue to join hands with the city and its people to fight this pandemic until the very end. It was my wish, my promise before I contracted the disease, and the hard days I spent battling nCoV [the coronavirus] only served to fuel my determination to fulfill that promise. I feel as if I owe medical workers at Hòa Vang Field Hospital a favor, and I’ve spent many sleepless nights trying to perfect my project,” he shared.


A shipment of sanitizer being delivered to the Hòa Vang Field Hospital – where the majority of COVID-19 patients in Đà Nẵng are treated.
Image credit: Mai Anh Đức

The project was named Project 687 after Đức’s codename Patient 687. He explained, “To me, 687 is more than just my patient number. It is a special number marking the memorable days when my family fought against COVID-19 and won.”

So far, Project 687 has provided 7,000 liters of sanitizer to hospitals and other frontline facilities in Đà Nẵng. He also plans to donate the sanitizer to public schools in the city to help them prepare for the new school year.


Recovered COVID-19 patient donates sanitizer to frontline facilities


As all COVID-19 patients in Vietnam are given codenames in the press to protect their identities, it is easy for us to forget that they are also members of society who are just as eager as anyone to contribute to the nationwide effort to fend of the pandemic.

It must not have been easy for Đức to press on after facing such a massive hindrance. Kudos to him for going above and beyond for the good of the community.

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Cover Image adapted from Mai Anh Đức