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Dancing the day away in Vietnam’s novel coronavirus quarantine camps

Monday, February 10, 2020, 18:24 GMT+7
Dancing the day away in Vietnam’s novel coronavirus quarantine camps
Women in quarantine for the novel coronavirus dance to music at the Military School of Lao Cai Province in northern Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

As Vietnam quarantines all people returning from China in assigned camps where they are monitored for signs of being infected with the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), residents inside these camps have decided to stay optimistic by dancing the day away.

Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper’s reporters visited them to know what their life inside quarantine camps is like.

At the Military School of Lao Cai Province in northern Vietnam, at least 216 Vietnamese citizens who recently came back from China are undergoing two weeks of isolation, which is the incubation period of the virus.

The new coronavirus has killed over 900 people, chiefly in mainland China, and infected more than 40,000 around the world.

Lu Thi Thuy, a 41-year-old female worker returning from China, was among those isolated at the camp.

Women in quarantine for the novel coronavirus dance to music at the Military School of Lao Cai Province in northern Vietnam. Video: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

Despite the quarantine, Thuy said she was not worried.

“It’s even better than staying at my own home as I’m given proper food while simply enjoying my days here,” Thuy told Tuoi Tre.

Thuy said she and other women in quarantine at the camp would gather for a dancing session every afternoon, while the men prefer physical exercise.

Moving rhythmically to playful music played from a mobile phone, Thuy said the activity also helps ease her homesickness.

Women in quarantine for the novel coronavirus dance to music at the Military School of Lao Cai Province in northern Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

Women in quarantine for the novel coronavirus dance to music at the Military School of Lao Cai Province in northern Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

Women in quarantine for the novel coronavirus dance to music at the Military School of Lao Cai Province in northern Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

Women in quarantine for the novel coronavirus dance to music at the Military School of Lao Cai Province in northern Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

Most of the 216 people at the camp came to China to work as laborers and trailer truck drivers, according to Nguyen Van Don, deputy chief of staff of the Military Command in Lao Cai Province, who is also the commander of the provisional command center for the 2019-nCoV isolation center.

Do told Tuoi Tre that the military school had allocated 11 of its housing blocks for being set up as the quarantine camp.

The school is also sufficiently supplied to provide for the day-to-day needs of its temporary residents for 14 days.

Four times a day, camp staff would visit every room to check on its occupants’ health and well-being, Do said.

Those who show symptoms of 2019-nCoV infection will be sampled and placed behind another layer of quarantine.

At the same time, the rooms are disinfected every afternoon while vehicles are sterilized when entering and exiting the camp.

Do added that the school also tries to enhance internal communications, including offering radio news that comes in three languages spoken by different ethnic minority groups in northern Vietnam, to raise awareness of the virus among the isolated people and give them updates on the epidemic.

A woman in quarantine for the novel coronavirus at the Military School of Lao Cai Province in northern Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

A woman in quarantine for the novel coronavirus at the Military School of Lao Cai Province in northern Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

Women in quarantine for the novel coronavirus dance to music at the Military School of Lao Cai Province in northern Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

Women in quarantine for the novel coronavirus dance to music at the Military School of Lao Cai Province in northern Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

A man plays games on a mobile phone at the Military School of Lao Cai Province in northern Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

A man plays games on a mobile phone at the Military School of Lao Cai Province in northern Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

Military staff deliver gifts from families to people in quarantine at the Military School of Lao Cai Province in northern Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

Military staff deliver gifts from families to the people in quarantine at the Military School of Lao Cai Province in northern Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

Inside a bunk-bed room at the Military School of Lao Cai Province in northern Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

Inside a bunk-bed room at the Military School of Lao Cai Province in northern Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

A medical staff checks the body temperature of a woman at the Military School of Lao Cai Province in northern Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

A medical staff member checks the body temperature of a woman at the Military School of Lao Cai Province in northern Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

A woman in quarantine for the novel coronavirus dances to music at the Military School of Lao Cai Province in northern Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

A woman in quarantine for the novel coronavirus dances to music at the Military School of Lao Cai Province in northern Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

A woman in quarantine for the novel coronavirus at the Military School of Lao Cai Province in northern Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

A woman in quarantine for the novel coronavirus at the Military School of Lao Cai Province in northern Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

Military staff prepare a diner for people in quarantine at the Military School of Lao Cai Province in northern Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

Military staff prepare dinner for people in quarantine at the Military School of Lao Cai Province in northern Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

A military staff cleans a dining room at the Military School of Lao Cai Province in northern Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

A military staff member cleans a dining room at the Military School of Lao Cai Province in northern Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

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