Starting this week, the Oxy-ATM initiative has begun operating in six districts across the Covid-19 epicenter, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day.
Covid-19 patients treated at home will receive the tanks for free. All they need to do is call a hotline and volunteers will transport the tanks to their homes on motorbike.
Volunteers transport oxygen tanks to Covid-19 patients in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo courtesy of Hoang Tuan Anh.
Hoang Tuan Anh, the entrepreneur who started the initiative, said the idea came to him as he saw Covid-19 patients being stuck at home and unable to change their empty oxygen tanks.
The limited number of shippers in the city also intensifies the challenges.
Within two days of operating, volunteers have received hundreds of calls. The project is overloaded, Hoang said.
However, the Young Business People Association of the city has helped raise billions of Vietnamese dong (VND1 billion = $43,400) to help Hoang’s team expand to five more districts and Thu Duc City.
The figure will later rise to 24, he said, adding that more donations are still needed.
Oxy-ATM will also do tank exchanges for hospitals for free to help mobilize all empties.
Last year, Hoang began the rice ATM initiative that provided 1.5 kilograms of rice to each person in need 24 hours a day during a social distancing period.