HCM City (VNA) – A recently-launched travel tour to Can Gio is viewed as a way to honour medical workers, and a pilot programme which aims to help the tourism sector in Ho Chi Minh City at large and the southern hub’s Can Gio district in particular gradually recover.

The municipal Department of Tourism, together with Can Gio district and Saigontourist Group, successfully held the first trip for 119 tourists, who are medical workers in the fight against COVID-19 in HCM City, the largest pandemic hotspot in Vietnam.

It was a pilot tourism product of Can Gio as well as the first of its kind in HCM City amid social distancing period.

The travel tour strongly adhered to COVID-19 prevention and control measures. All tourists, guides, drivers, organisers and logistics workers at all locations must be fully inoculated against COVID-19 and tested negative, while closely following the 5K message of the Ministry of Health.

The first travel tour in the ‘special period’ was arranged under the ‘travel bubble’ method. Visitors mainly took part in outdoor activities such as exploring mangrove forests and rivers in Can Gio, which is currently considered the city’s COVID-19-free zone, or ‘green zone’.

The one-day programme began at 6.30am and wrapped up at 4.30pm on September 19.

It was attended by 119 health workers from central hospitals and health departments of provinces and cities and medical students of colleges and universities across the country who had travelled to HCM City to help it battle COVID-19.

During the trip, participants visited Dao Khi (Monkey Island), rode canoes in mangrove forests and travelled to Rung Sac revolutionary base so as to learn about soldiers’ life and battles during wartime and war remnants.

They visited conservation areas for bat and crocodile while spending time in Vam Sat ecotourism site, and gaining an adventurous experience of crocodile fishing, climbing Tang Bong tower and enjoying an aerial view of the mangrove forests at a height of 26 metres.

After the event, doctor Dao Thi Huong, head of a delegation from the Thai Nguyen Central Hospital, said that all medical workers who took part in the trip are touched by the sentiments of HCM City authorities and people.

She added that after the tour, they will return to daily tasks of taking care and treating COVID-19 patients, but with a more refreshing state of mind, new source of energy and excitement.

Meanwhile, doctor Nguyen Van Toan, head of a medical delegation from central Thanh Hoa province, said that all participants are delighted to receive a surprise present that was a trip to Can Gio, with a range of activities, from HCM City leaders.

“We hope that the city will soon recover in the fastest time possible”, he said.

Vice Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Nguyen Ho Hai extended his gratitude to medical workers who stand side by side with local authorities and people, hoping that the pandemic will soon be brought under control so that the city will return to the new normal.

Can Gio is among three localities in HCM City that announced to have curbed the spread of COVID-19 and prepared for economic recovery, along with Cu Chi district and district 7.

It also reported the lowest number of infections among 22 districts of the southern hub during the fourth wave of COVID-19 outbreaks.

To contribute to economic recovery, Can Gio authorities are also mulling over the resumption of some travel tours from September 30, as well as outdoor entertainment activities, in-person dining of less than 20 people in tandem with the situations and recommendations of the health sector.

Following the trip, Saigontourist Group will bolster the Can Gio tour and others to safe destinations while complying with preventive measures and a three-phase roadmap for tourism recovery in HCM City, which will be rolled out from this month.

The hashtag ‘green zone’, or ‘safe zone’, has increased in popularity and reflects the determination of many localities to control the ongoing fourth wave of COVID-19 infections across Vietnam. Setting up more such ‘green zones’ to fight the pandemic is an effective measure to prevent the virus from spreading./.