For almost two years, the world has fought the fierce battle against the Covid-19 pandemic. Vietnam is no exception. The image of frontline health workers and people directly engaged in that battle has been no longer rare. Right behind these frontliners are enterprises, businesspeople and philanthropists that are always silently consistent at the forefront. Their benevolence has formed a reliable home front combating the pandemic side by side with the whole country.
A frontliner and responsibility
Recently, India has been under attack by a new wave of Covid-19. Scenes in which people were helplessly seeking oxygen bottles or breathing machines in hospitals show how important they are. Severe Covid-19 cases of lung damages without a breathing machine on the bed often means their fate has been sealed.
In Vietnam, since February 2020, a business group and a university have been together conducting research so that they can come up with 2,000 ventilators for treating Covid-19 patients. This duo, Van Thinh Phat Group (VTP Group) and Van Lang University, has pledged to donate 2,000 MV20 ventilators to the Government. After five consecutive months of conducting studies, placing orders and running tests, the first MV20 breathing machines compatible with Japanese technical specifications arrived at hospitals in different localities to help Covid-19 patients in the fight for their lives.
The time the first MV20 ventilators came out was also when the coronavirus attacked Danang and jeopardized many patients with chronic diseases giving them poor prognosis. Yet the introduction of these breathing machines contributed significantly to the medical treatment. When receiving the first 500 ventilators worth VND120 billion, Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long expressed his gratitude not only because of their material values but also the humanitarian significance amid a crucial point during the fight against the pandemic.
In addition to the problem of ventilator shortage, the accessibility to Covid-19 vaccines is currently a hard nut to crack. According to the Ministry of Health, Vietnam is in need of some 150 million doses of vaccines to immunize 75 million people, whose costs are estimated at VND25.2 trillion, a big sum for the State budget. Even prior to the announcement of the establishment of the National Covid-19 Vaccine Fund in hope of mobilizing the people’s resources for the task, many enterprises and businesspeople had thought of taking part in this task to ease the burden on the Government. Familiar names on the lists of donors can be seen again here: VTP Group, the Red Cross and many others. In one way or another, they have been at the forefront to give more strength in terms of better resources which suit the need of every phase during the national battle against Covid-19.
Silent and persistent
The coronavirus has come back to Vietnam for the fourth time and brought with it more complicated and unpredictable developments. The task of fighting and preventing the epidemic is therefore even more challenging. Under the leadership of the Government, doctors and other health workers have come to the forefront. Once again, enterprises, businesspeople and benefactors are standing shoulder to shoulder to share the formidable task although they themselves have to fight their own decisive battles for retaining jobs and income for their work forces and the existence of their companies.
A look back at the two years of fighting Covid-19 would show that together with efforts made by the State have been numerous contributions by communities and the corporate circle across the nation. The pandemic has adversely affected the economy forcing a great number of enterprises to stop operation or see their sales plummet. In the spiraling difficulties created by the pandemic are not only hawkers and hired workers but also big and small enterprises, many of whom are in a dilemma.
According to reports conducted by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) on nearly 10,200 enterprises nationwide, 87.2% of them said they had suffered enormously or been totally paralyzed by the epidemic. In HCMC alone, where VTP Group is headquartered, last year, almost 50,000 enterprises temporarily stopped operation or were disbanded. Among them, enterprises in services such as tourism, accommodation and food services were the hardest-hit. In the current context, profit is a luxury to most enterprises. Therefore, their contributions are even more meaningful and respectful.
Despite the hardships, since the very start of the pandemic’s outbreak in Vietnam, the corporate sector has contributed enormous sums of money along with medical equipment. In the past week, as Covid-19 got worse, businesses have continued to make their share. On May 25 alone, the Ministry of Health received from eight enterprises cash worth VND125 billion and US$1 million and one million doses of Covid-19 vaccines. Particularly, on May 27, State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc launched a major online campaign for donations to the fight against Covid-19 effective nationwide. At the end of the launch, only at the central level, some VND700 billion were pledged by institutions and individuals. These donations would be added by others at local levels.
Somebody looking at the list of benefactors on that morning may be moved as it included again familiar names. They always take part in charity activities, especially those initiated by the Government to fight the pandemic. Many has contributed tens of billions of dong, hundreds of billions of dong or even VND2,000 billion like VTP Group together with its business partners. These businesses have a heart of gold and do not turn their back to the country and their compatriots that are in difficulty. Such a silent contribution is worth noting and their awareness of responsibility is respectful.
Being silent and persistent is the compelling philosophy which has been adopted by VTP Group in its community and charity activities throughout the years. Such a persistence mirrors the full heart of the group’s leadership as well as the group’s persistence for the needy. VTP Group always participates in community and charity activities, helps the underprivileged, supports poverty reduction programs, provides assistance for flood victims, and, particularly above all, offers a non-refundable aid package worth VND450 billion to the building of An Binh General Hospital in HCMC’s District 5.
Aside from charity operation, VTP Group has lent a helping hand to the improvement of spiritual and cultural life of residents in HCMC. Over the past 20 years, the group has been a companion with major cultural events in the city, such as Nguyen Hue Flower Road, springtime flower fairs, and the First Full Moon Festival. Faithful to its goal of sustainable development and necessary contribution to national development, VTP Group’s scholarship fund, set up in 2007, has given full scholarships to students from general to tertiary education, both domestic and overseas studies, to cultivate talents for the country.