Families collect Covid victims’ belongings from HCMC hospital

By Quynh Tran   September 25, 2021 | 02:00 am PT
Huynh Duc Minh Duc burst into tears when receiving the belongings of his father who had died of Covid-19 at a field hospital in HCMC.
From September 19, the Covid-19 Intensive Care Center (ICU) - Bach Mai Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City located at Field Hospital No. 16 (Dao Tri Street, District 7) set up a warehouse to store his belongings. who died from Covid-19. This place is 30 square meters, so about 300 bags are neatly arranged on the shelves.The people who lost their lives in this epidemic are very poor, have no loved ones next to them, cant have funerals. So we have a responsibility to keep enough memorabilia to return to the family, as a part of consolation to the family. them, said Doctor Tran Thai Son, deputy head of the hospitals general planning department.Accordingly, from August 8, when the ICU is operational, the belongings of the deceased here will be kept. All are checked carefully with the witness of the police and the army before being brought down to the warehouse.

On Sept. 19, the Covid-19 intensive care center (ICU) at Bach Mai Hospital in District 7 set up a warehouse to store the personal items left behind by Covid victims. When VnExpress visited it there were 300 bags neatly arranged on shelves.
Dr Tran Thai Son, deputy head of the hospital's general planning department, says: "The people who succumbed to Covid died with no loved ones next to them and did not have proper funerals. So we have the responsibility of keeping their possessions and returning them to their families to partly console them".
The belongings have been kept at the hospital since August 8. All are checked carefully in the presence of the police before being brought to the warehouse.

On the afternoon of September 21, dozens of relatives came to receive the memorabilia back. At the reception desk near the gate, Mr. Huynh Duc Minh Duc, from District 10, wrote down his and the deceaseds information so that medical staff could enter the warehouse to search.More than two weeks ago, my father was positive and was brought here, then the disease turned serious, unfortunately passed away. Today, I received a call from the hospital to pick up my fathers daily necessities, I rushed over, he said. Minh Duc said.

On Tuesday afternoon, dozens of people came to collect these items.
At the reception near the gate, Huynh Duc Minh Duc of District 10 provides information about his deceased father so that staff could enter the warehouse to search.
"More than two weeks ago my father tested positive for Covid-19 and was brought here. Then his condition got worse and he unfortunately passed away. Today, I received a call from the hospital to pick up my father's belongings."

The small bag that Ducs father brought when he was admitted to the hospital, including his medical examination book, personal papers, insurance, phone... was brought out by the doctor for him to check again.

The small bag Duc's father brought when he was admitted includes his medical examination book, personal documents, insurance card, and phone. It is brought by a health provider for him to check and take back.

Duc burst into tears as he hugged a bag containing his fathers memorabilia. I didnt think my father passed away so quickly, now seeing these items I feel very regretful, because there are many things that cannot be done for him, he said.

Duc bursts into tears as he hugs his father's bag.
"I didn't think my father would pass away so quickly. Now seeing these items I feel very regretful because there were many things I couldn't do for him."

Ms. Ly Le Huong received her mothers phone and identification documents, who died at the end of August. These objects may not be valuable, but they are very meaningful to relatives, Ms. Huong said.

Ly Le Huong receives her mother's phone and personal documents. Her mother died at the end of August.
"These objects may not be valuable, but they mean much to her family," she says.

The day my wife was admitted to the hospital, she brought 18 million dong with her, now she still has her identity papers and personal belongings, said Mr. Truong Minh, from District 1.His wife died at the end of August, causing Mr. Minh to suffer the situation of rooster raising three children. The oldest child is 19 years old, and the youngest is 2 years old, no one to look after so he has to carry.

Truong Minh of District 1 says: "When my wife was admitted to the hospital, she brought VND18 million ($790) with her. The money is intact, as well as her documents and personal belongings".
His wife died at the end of August leaving him with two children. The older is 19 years old and the younger is two. He brought the child with him to the hospital since there was no one to look after him.

Ms. Vuong Tuyet Xuan (District 8) went to the warehouse to ask the doctor to find her brothers backpack. Her mother also contracted nCoV and passed away.Just looking for items for relatives, doctor Nguyen Van Dang said, the process of returning items is also difficult, because the quantity is quite large, so it can be confusing. Many people were hospitalized when they were in a coma and had not had time to get personal information, so finding their families was also complicated. In addition, there are many anonymous items due to the urgent process of receiving patients.

Vuong Tuyet Xuan of District 8 tells a worker inside the warehouse to help find her brother's backpack. Her mother too died of Covid .
Dr Nguyen Van Dang says returning items is difficult since the volume is large and often can be hard to find.
Many people were hospitalized in an unconscious state and medics could not get their personal information.

The memorabilia of Covid-19 patients are quite abundant, most are phones, identification papers, cash, clothes... Most phones that run out of battery will be recharged and waiting for family members to arrive. identified by calling the number.

The items are mostly phones, personal documents, cash, and clothes.
Phones with dead batteries are recharged, and arriving family members need to call their numbers to obtain them.

Furniture will be continuously disinfected every day before being returned to the family.

The luggage is disinfected every day in the warehouse.

At 16:30, there were still nearly a dozen people waiting at the gate waiting for their turn to go in and carry out procedures to receive their familys belongings.Hospital leaders said that, every day, medical staff made about 100 phone calls to the victims family for the past three days. But only about 20 people came to receive it because most of their relatives who were in isolation or were being treated for Covid-19 could not come.In some other field hospitals, when a patient dies, a family member will deliver the memento. In case the family member has not been able to come, the belongings of the deceased will also be kept and waiting for the next of kin to receive.

At 4:30 p.m. there were nearly a dozen people at the gate waiting for their turn to go in and obtain the belongings.
The hospital said medical staff made around 100 calls to victim's families in the last three days, but only around 20 have come so far since many relatives are being treated for Covid themselves or are in isolation.

The field hospital No. 16 is about 3 hectares wide, with a size of 2,400 beds, built from July 8, partially operating after 20 days, with the function of collecting, treating and taking care of new cases. In which, the factory on the right is the Intensive Care Center with 500 beds, in charge of Bach Mai Hospital (Hanoi).

Bach Mai, the city’s 16th Covid field hospital, has 2,400 beds.
HCMC, the epicenter of the fourth wave since late April, has had 362,493 cases and 13,992 deaths.

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