The social action arm of the Diocese of Hải Phỏng in Vietnam has opened a mobile store to provide for the needs of the poor who have been most affected by the pandemic in the past two years.
“Our parish priest brought us together to pray and practice social and charitable activities to help the poor and children living in very difficult circumstances,” said Teresa Hoa, a Caritas volunteer in the parish of Hải Dương, in an interview for AsiaNews.
Various groups — Religious, Catholic associations, NGOs, lay people and social workers — took part in the project dubbed Chân Thiện Zero Đồng that was launched at the start of the Lenten season.
Every Sunday morning, between 120 and 150 people from the parish receive essential items from the store, which then goes around communities outside of the parish jurisdiction, even non-Catholics.
Last week, Vietnam announced that it will reopen for international tourism after almost two years of the pandemic.
Vietnam has also resumed direct flights to several destinations such as the US, Singapore, Thailand, the UK, and Australia which will help boost the economy and people to people ties.
The easing of entry procedures and visas will allow businesses and tour companies to plan trips and will further contribute to Vietnam’s growing economy.
The World Health Organization, however, said COVID-19 should not still be treated as a common illness and basic prevention measures must still be practiced.
“It is too early to say that the pandemic is over or to consider COVID-19 as an endemic disease,” said Kidong Park, WHO representative in Vietnam.
While Vietnam has been recording rising number of COVID-19 cases ever since the Tet holiday in early February, most of them are mild and can be treated at home, according to the WHO.
The numbers of severe cases and deaths are also dropping, it added.
However, high numbers of cases could overwhelm the healthcare system, requiring that control measures like testing and quarantine must remain in place.