Mothers, children, elders get train rides home from HCMC

By Dinh Van   October 9, 2021 | 08:02 am GMT+7
Around 2,800 pregnant women, children and elderly people from HCMC and other southern localities return to their hometowns in central Vietnam on trains this Friday and Saturday.
Mothers, children, elders get train rides home from HCMC

At 8 a.m. Friday, the first train that left the Saigon station carried around 400 pregnant women, mothers, young children, patients and elderly people. Another 200 on board were students.

On the way to central Vietnam from Ho Chi Minh City, the train would pick up more passengers in Binh Duong and Dong Nai provinces.

Four such train rides have been organized for people to return to their hometowns in an organized manner, which is important because the central region is frequently exposed to hazardous weather conditions and an incoming storm has been predicted.

Mothers, children, elders get train rides home from HCMC

To board the trains, passengers must have a negative coronavirus test certificate issued within the previous 72 hours.

Mothers, children, elders get train rides home from HCMC

Pham Van Bay, a senior official with the Saigon Railway, said each coach has 64 seats, but only half can be seated to ensure social distancing.

Mothers, children, elders get train rides home from HCMC

Nguyen Thi Ly (L), along with her mother and her two children (aged six years and two months old), are returning home to Quang Binh Province's Bo Trach District.

"For the past four months, my husband and I have been unemployed and do not have enough money to sustain ourselves. My 6-year-old must return home to go to school, while my husband stays back in the city to get a job," Ly said.

Mothers, children, elders get train rides home from HCMC

Sitting in the same coach, Tran Thi Phuong, 25, feeds her one-year-old daughter some porridge before the train departs.

She said she and her husband have been deprived of their livelihoods due to the pandemic, forcing them to go back to her hometown for now.

Mothers, children, elders get train rides home from HCMC

A child wears a protective suit on the train. Many children are being taken back to the countryside to attend school, with epicenter HCMC yet to reopen its schools.

Mothers, children, elders get train rides home from HCMC

Van Cong, 69, is attended to by a health worker. The liver cancer patient said he had got stuck in Ho Chi Minh City since June when he went there for treatment.

"My condition is severe now. I only wish to get back to my hometown, no matter what," he said.

Mothers, children, elders get train rides home from HCMC

Three coaches on the train are used as emergency rooms and places to store medical equipment. Four health workers are on the train to handle any medical emergency that may arise.

Mothers, children, elders get train rides home from HCMC

A man waves goodbye to his loved ones before the train departs.

In a document issued to localities Thursday, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh requested that those still maintaining strict social distancing measures persuade people to stay back so that they can be supported and, in turn, facilitate economic recovery.

Those who still wish to return have to inform respective localities the details of their destination, departure and arrival.

 
 
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