At home away from home in a quarantine zone

By Thuy Quynh, Chi Le, Giang Huy   February 26, 2020 | 06:33 am GMT+7

Ever since the novel coronavirus outbreak reached Vinh Phuc Province earlier this month, 29 medical workers at a quarantine zone haven't been home.

Nurse Bui Thi Kim Hue begins her day at 5 a.m. Around 6 a.m., she cleans the walls, the beds, the floors and areas outside the clinic. Her coworkers meanwhile would sanitize the rooms and neighboring areas with disinfectants.The whole area is split into three zones, with each zone being cleaned and sanitized by three different groups, three times a day. Whichever group is assigned to a zone would remain so in order to limit movement and prevent possible contamination and infection.

The Quang Ha clinic in the northern province is split into three zones, with each zone being cleaned and sanitized by three different groups, three times a day. Whichever group is assigned to a zone would remain within it in order to limit movement and prevent possible contamination and infection.

Hue cleans the quarantine zone since early morning. Shes done so since February 4, when the clinic became a quarantine zone for whoevers infected or suspected to be infected with the Covid-19 virus in Vinh Phuc. She has also not returned home since.

At the clinic, nurse Bui Thi Kim Hue begins her day at 5 a.m. At around 6 a.m., she cleans the walls, the beds, the floors and areas outside the clinic. Her coworkers, meanwhile, get busy sanitizing the rooms and neighboring areas with disinfectant.

Hue cleans the quarantine zone early every morning since February 4, when the clinic became a quarantine zone for those infected or suspected of being infected with the Covid-19 virus in Vinh Phuc Province. Like others, she has not returned home since.

At 7 a.m., all the doctors in the clinic gather for breakfast and a meeting. The meeting room is also a common room for the doctors.Many doctors in the clinic were actually sent from other places for support.

At 7 a.m., all the doctors in the clinic gather for breakfast and a meeting. The meeting room is also a common room for the doctors.

Many doctors in the clinic were assigned from other places to support local staff.

Doctors and nurses take appropriate medicine for the quarantined every day. They, while wearing protective suits, also check for the quarantineds general health status for any anomaly.

Doctors and nurses prepare appropriate medicines for the quarantined every day. Wearing protective clothing almost all the time, they check the general health of the quarantined closely for the slightest change.

Nguyen Van Vinh, 50, who tested positive for the Covid-19 virus, has his vitals checked by doctor Luu Thi Xuan. As of February 23, Vinh is the only quarantined left in the quarantine zone for those who tested positive for the coronavirus. He is provided intravenous fluid and other medicine to improve his health.Vinh is infected with a highly infectious disease, and as such doctors must also limit their time with him as much as possible to avoid possible infection, said Xuan.As of Tuesday, Vinh has been cured of the Covid-19 virus and is ready to be discharged at an unspecified time in the future.

Nguyen Van Vinh, 50, who tested positive for Covid-19 after contracting the virus from his daughter, has his vitals checked by doctor Luu Thi Xuan. He is provided intravenous fluids and other medicines to improve his health.

Since Vinh has a highly infectious disease, doctors and other staff must also limit their time with him as much as possible to avoid possible infection risks, said Xuan.

As of Tuesday, Vinh had tested negative for Covid-19 twice. He is the last patient who remains quarantined in Vietnam and is expected to be discharged this week.

Hue wears a protective suit.

Doctor Xuan in her protective suit.

During the first few days that the quarantine zone became functional, many medical workers had to be on duty 24/24 as some patients had severe symptoms.

Doctors take pictures of test results and send them to their higher-ups, still in protective suits.I kinda fancy this suit now, as it protects both me and other medical workers. Plus it looks cute, Hue said.

Doctors in their protective suits take pictures of test results and send them to their higher-ups.

"I actually fancy this suit now, as it protects both me and other medical workers. Plus it looks cute," Hue said, making light of the situation.

Just a few meters from where Vinh is, another quarantine zone is reserved for those who are suspected to be infected with the Covid-19 virus. Around 50 people are quarantined here. They also have their health stats checked every day and have their biological samples taken to test for the virus every few days.

Just a few meters from where Vinh is, another quarantine zone is reserved for those who are suspected to be infected with the Covid-19 virus. Around 50 people are quarantined here. They also have their health stats checked every day and have their biological samples taken to test every few days .

A group of doctors chat in their common bedroom, which is around 25 m2 wide, with four beds, a desk and a cabinet.

A group of doctors chat and drink fresh milk in their common bedroom, which has an area of around 25 square meters, four beds, a desk and a cabinet.

At noon, around 5 medical workers would deliver food to every quarantined in their own rooms. The food is ordered from outside as the clinic has no kitchen. Only after the patients have eaten do the doctors eat.

At noon, around five medical workers deliver food to quarantined persons in their own rooms. The food is ordered from outside as the clinic has no kitchen. Only after the patients have eaten do the doctors have their own meals.

For doctor Xuan, the saddest thing is to hear her phone rings every afternoon. Her family was calling for her.I miss my home so much! she said. She could only see her children through video chat. They asked their father every day when she would be back, she said.Nurse Hue, who has two children, had to send them to her parents so they could take care of the kids. Despite her family worrying for her, Hue was resolved to see everything through until the end.During my time [in the clinic], Ive had so many memories. That way, Ive learnt so much more about my job and our bonds for one another, she said.

For doctor Xuan, the saddest thing is to hear her phone ring every afternoon, when her family calls.

"I miss my family so much!" she said. She can only see her children through video chat. They ask their father every day when she would be back, she said.

Nurse Hue, who has two children, had to send them to her parents. Despite her family worrying for her, Hue was resolved to see everything through until the end.

"During my time in the clinic, I've had so many memories. That way, I've learnt so much more about my job and our bonds with each another," she said.

 
 
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