Hanoi military camp works hard to feed 700 Europe returnees

By Giang Huy, Phuong Lam   March 21, 2020 | 07:00 pm GMT+7

A four-course dinner wrapped in a box, plus fruit dessert, is served every day at a Hanoi military camp for people arriving from Europe.

At 4 p.m. on Thursday, a group of 40 people prepare dinner for 776 people who have been quarantined at Son Tay Military School in Hanoi. Meal boxes fill the 300-square-meter cafeteria.  Between March 13 and 15, the camp received 776 people. Except for eight foreigners, the remainder are Vietnamese who returned from Europe. Prior to this batch, the camp received 752 people returning from South Korea who completed their 14-day period starting February 25.

At 4 p.m. on Thursday, a group of 40 staff prepare dinner for 776 people quarantined at Son Tay Military School in Hanoi from March 13, meal boxes filling the 300-square-meter cafeteria. They are Vietnamese returning from Europe, except for eight foreigners. Prior to this batch, the camp received 752 returnees from South Korea who completed their 14-day period starting February 25.

30 soldiers of Information Battalion 610 were sent to work at the camp by the Hanoi’s Military Command at the end of February. They are divided into two 15-member groups, one helping out with daily needs of people in the camp while the other assists with other tasks.  At 3 a.m. every morning, they get up and help the cafeteria staff prepare the food and put it in boxes, sorting out tissues, chopsticks, spoons, and fish sauce for each portion. The meal boxes are then delivered to the gate of the quarantine camp.

Thirty soldiers of Information Battalion 610 were sent to work at the camp by Hanoi’s Military Command at the end of February. They are divided into two groups, one helping out with daily needs while the other assists with other tasks.

At 3 a.m. every morning, they get up and help cafeteria staff prepare food placed in boxes, sorting out tissues, chopsticks, spoons, and fish sauce for each portion. The meal boxes are then delivered to the gate of the quarantine camp.

A dinner meal at the cost of VND23,000 (about $1) has an omelet, stir-fried pork, betel leaf wrapped pork balls, stir-fried potatoes, and banana for dessert. The Vietnamese government spends VND57,000 ($2.4) on three meals a day for  each Vietnamese.  Meals prepared for eight foreigners at Son Tay Military School camp offer the same dishes with an addition of sausages and milk. The government provides VND100,000 a day ($4.3) for food during the quarantine period for each foreigner.

A dinner meal costing VND23,000 (about $1) includes an omelet, stir-fried pork, pork balls wrapped in lolot leaves, stir-fried potatoes, and banana for dessert. Meals prepared for eight foreigners at Son Tay Military School camp offer the same dishes with an addition of sausages and milk. Babies in quarantine will be served rice porridge with minced pork and vegetables.

The Vietnamese government spends VND57,000 ($2.4) on three meals a day for each Vietnamese citizen and VND100,000 for each foreigner.

Captain Vo Thi Minh Tam marks food bags with room numbers. Babies in the quarantine camp will be served rice porridge with minced pork with vegetables. Tam said the food should be nicely presented, the meat should not be too dry, nothing is burned, and the fried items should not be too oily. Captain Tam testes each dish for food safety during the day.  Những ngày này, đại úy Tâm luôn đặt báo thức lúc 3h sáng để dậy lo cơm nước. Ngày cao điểm đón người về cách ly, chị Tâm cùng tổ phục vụ từng lo suất ăn lúc nửa đêm, chợp mắt chưa đầy 3 tiếng. Chỉ cần mọi người thấy ngon miệng như ở nhà, mình vất vả sao cũng được, chị Tâm chia sẻ.  Tam said these days she always sets her alarm at 3 a.m. to prepare for the meals. On the day when new people arrived at the camp, Tam and her team work until midnight and they wouldn’t get more than three hours of sleep.

Captain Vo Thi Minh Tam marks food bags with room numbers. Tam said the food should be nicely presented, the meat should not be too dry, nothing should be burned, and fried items should not be too oily. She tests each dish for food safety during the day.

Tam said these days she always sets her alarm for 3 a.m. to prepare the meals. On the day when new people arrived at the camp, Tam and her team worked until midnight and couldn’t get more than three hours sleep. "As long as people find it as good as a home cooked meal, it doesn’t matter how hard I have to work," she said.

At 5 p.m., the soldiers bring the meal boxes from the cafeteria to the quarantine camp. Every meal is delivered sharp at 7 a.m. for breakfast, 11:30 p.m. for lunch, and 6 p.m. for dinner.  The boxes are placed on the tables already set up in front of the camp and leave. Another group of soldiers from the camp will bring the food to each room.

At 5 p.m., soldiers deliver the meal boxes from the cafeteria to the quarantine camp. Every meal is delivered sharp at 7 a.m. for breakfast, 11:30 a.m. for lunch, and 6 p.m. for dinner. The boxes are placed on the tables already set up in front of the camp. Another group of soldiers from the camp will bring the food to each room.

After people have finished, the soldiers also collect and burn the boxes and leftovers. They wear protective clothing and remain in the camp until the end of the 14-day quarantine period.

After people have finished eating, the soldiers collect and burn both boxes and leftovers. They wear protective clothing and will remain at the camp until the end of the 14-day quarantine period.

Lieutenant Hoang Duy Hoa and his team member deliver packages of food and essential items outsiders send to their loved ones inside the camp. The items are checked and listed upon receiving. Except for essential goods needed for daily use, the camp turns away alcohol, cash, among other items.

Lieutenant Hoang Duy Hoa and his team deliver packages of food and essential items outsiders send to their loved ones inside the camp. The items are checked and listed upon receival. The camp only receives essential goods for daily use, turning away other items, including alcohol and cash.

A camp staff uses a loudspeaker to coordinate the soldiers’ food delivery and remind people to follow the rules.

A camp staff member uses a loudspeaker to coordinate food delivery and remind people to follow the rules.

Outside the fenced camp, soldiers work 24/7 to prevent insiders from going out and outsiders from coming in.  Since March 15, Noi Bai International Airport has been receiving about 1,000 passengers. Hanoi might go into a city lockdown and monitor 10,000 people in the next few days.

Outside the fenced camp, soldiers work 24/7 to prevent insiders from going out and outsiders from coming in.

 
 
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