The Vietnamese community in the US has handed over 6.2 tons of medical supplies in response to the call of the Consulate General of Vietnam in San Francisco to aid anti-pandemic efforts in the homeland.
A repatriation flight bringing home 277 Vietnamese citizens and carrying the 6.2 tons of medical supplies landed at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on August 25.
The shipment of medical equipment, worth about US$1 million, includes 250 oxygen concentrator machines, five ventilators, 9,000 Covid-19 antigen rapid test kits, 600 protective suits, 2,500 anti-droplet masks, and 60,000 medical masks.
The Vietnam Airlines flight carrying repatriated Vietnamese citizens and donations of medical supplies to Hanoi. Photo: Vietnam Airlines
The Ministry of Health received the donation and will distribute these Covid-19 supplies to health centers across the country.
The flight was operated by the national flag carrier, Vietnam Airlines that has officially received authorization from the Transportation Security Administration, an agency of the US Department of Homeland Security, to operate 12 repatriation flights to bring home Vietnamese citizens in 2021.
This is the second direct flight between Vietnam and the US conducted by Vietnam Airlines this year after it received permission to bring Vietnamese citizens home. However, this is the first time that a flight operated by a Vietnamese airline has been licensed for cargo transport between the two countries.
David Duong, president of California Waste Solutions (CWS) and CEO of Vietnam Waste Solutions (VWS), said that when the Covid-19 pandemic broke out again in Vietnam, in response to the call of the Vietnamese Government, he decided to buy ventilators in anticipation of a shortage of this medical equipment when hospitals are congested with Covid-19 patients.
With the help of the Consulate General of Vietnam and Vietnam Airlines, the ventilators arrived in Vietnam within two days, Duong added.
He added that VWS representatives in Vietnam have also donated medical supplies and equipment for pandemic prevention and control, such as antibacterial hand sanitizer and N95 face masks, SARS-CoV-2 antigen rapid test kits, and food to support people who are in need.
“In the time ahead, I will call for contributions from Vietnamese communities and businesses in the US as well as members of the Vietnamese American Business Association to present 1,000 ventilators to Vietnam,” Duong said.
He hoped that his action will serve as a motivation for the overseas Vietnamese community and businesses to join hands to support the country in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.