Lanterns are released into the Nhiêu Lộc-Thị Nghè canal in front of Pháp Hoa Temple in HCM City’s District 3 on Friday to commemorate people who died from COVID-19 related complications. VNA/VNS Photo An Hiếu
HÀ NỘI — Tribute ceremonies were held on Friday in Hà Nội and HCM City to commemorate people and frontline workers who died due to COVID-19.
The events took place at the Independence Palace in HCM City and Thống Nhất Park in Hà Nội, gathering about 1,000 and 300 participants respectively.
HCM City Vice President Võ Thị Ánh Xuân, Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam, secretary of HCM City’s Party Committee Nguyễn Văn Nên, and chairman of the Central Committee of the Việt Nam Fatherland Front Đỗ Văn Chiến were all at the event in the southern hub.
In Hà Nội, Secretary of the city Party Committee Đinh Tiến Dũng, head of the Central Committee for Mass Mobilisation Bùi Thị Minh Hòa, and other Party and State officials were in attendance.
Party General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng sent a wreath in memory of those who died.
Dozens of venerable monks and nuns, along with 50 families of the casualties, also took part in the ceremony in HCM City.
All participants spent one minute in silence. Incense and candles were lit in both cities, temples and churches rang their bells, and ships sounded their horns at 8.30pm in memory of the victims.
Lanterns were also released into HCM City’s Nhiêu Lộc-Thị Nghè, and Tàu Hủ-Bến Nghé canals.
Smaller tribute ceremonies were held in other districts in HCM City, each with less than 100 participants.
Citizens in both places turned off all lights at public places and residential areas to commemorate the victims.
The two main events were broadcast live nationwide on Việt Nam Television.
Speaking at the ceremony in HCM City, Đỗ Văn Chiến, chairman of the Central Committee of the Việt Nam Fatherland Front said: “Because the pandemic was so cruel and dangerous, and despite our efforts, a lot of people who died did not have a proper funeral in line with the country’s customs. This leaves an aching pain for their loved ones, comrades and colleagues.
“I would like to express my deepest condolences to Vietnamese people in and out of the country who died during the pandemic. May their souls rest in peace, may the pandemic be eradicated so humanity won’t have to suffer any more pain and loss.”
He added: “I hope all families of the deceased will get through the pain, overcome their overwhelming losses, and get their lives back on track in the new normal.
“To the children who have lost fathers and mothers, this is such a life-changing event for you. The Party, the State and your neighbours and relatives will always be by your side as you go on in life.
“Although there will be a lot of difficulties, I believe with the help from the State, the support from the community, and the love and care from your loved ones, you will be compensated, to a certain extent, financially and mentally.
“I hope you will do your best to learn, and grow up to be good citizens of the country.”
As of 4pm on Friday, 23,578 people have died of COVID-19. More than 17,300 of those were in HCM City, accounting for more than 74 per cent of the total.
The first death related to COVID-19 was reported on July 31, 2020. The deceased was a 70-year-old man from the central province of Quảng Nam with chronic kidney failure.
On July 30, 2021, total casualties topped 1,000. It surpassed 10,000 only a month later on August 27, and exceeded 20,000 on October 6.
With caseload reaching 1,075,094 on Friday, the number of casualties currently accounts for 2.2 per cent of the total patients. VNS