|A medical worker sprays disinfectant. Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)
Both the Deutsche Welle of Germany and the l’Obs weekly of France said Vietnam’s success can be attributed to the four measures of quarantine, surveillance, declaring war on the epidemic and following the rules.
The article on l’Obs said the Vietnamese Health Ministry regularly sent messages to mobile phone subscribers giving information on the epidemic’s developments and advice on hygiene practice. The State media have been mobilized for communication work, and the artists also join in, with one outstanding example being the Ghen Co Vy, a song meant to increase awareness of preventing the spread of COVID-19 which has become a global hit.
An article on the csis.org website by Amy Searight and Brian Harding said Vietnam, along with Singapore, has emerged as global models for early action and aggressive containment of COVID-19. “Vietnam, a fast-growing but still developing country with far fewer resources than Singapore, also launched a rapid and aggressive response to the coronavirus outbreak that so far has been highly successful, with zero reported deaths so far, according to government data,” the article read.
According to the article, Vietnam’s shared border with China and bustling cross-border trade made it highly vulnerable to the spreading of the virus, but the country’s leaders quickly halted flights from China and closed schools nationwide. Vietnam also became the first country outside of China to quarantine a large residential area when it sealed off part of a province north of Hanoi in mid-February after an outbreak was traced to workers returning from Wuhan.
It noted the ability of the Communist Party of Vietnam to mobilize society, isolate individuals with symptoms and track their second- and third-hand contacts, the quarantining of incoming travelers, and the enlistment of the services of medical students, retired doctors, and nurses.
The government has also been predictably effective at policing bans on business closures and large gatherings, and it has relied on its network of informants to help monitor and surveil citizens and report suspected cases.
Meanwhile, the World Economic Forum website also ran an article speaking highly of Vietnam’s COVID-19 containment.
"Vietnam shows how you can contain COVID-19 with limited resources" is the title of an article by senior writer Sean Fleming published on the World Economic Forum (WEF) website on March 30.
Fleming started the article highlighting that Vietnam has had no fatalities as a result of the global pandemic, which “has brought many developed countries’ healthcare systems to a breaking point”.
"Vietnam has instead stood out as a beacon of how to do more with less," he affirmed.
“By focusing on measures that are within its control, the country has won praise from the international community.”
On February 1, Vietnam kicked off a series of initiatives to tackle the spread of COVID-19. It suspended all flights to and from China and also decided to keep schools closed after the traditional Lunar New Year holidays.
Two weeks later, a 21-day quarantine was imposed in the northern province of Vinh Phuc, home to some workers returning from China’s Wuhan, where the virus originated.
The article listed various actions of Vietnam to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, including mandatory 14-day quarantines for anyone arriving in the country and the cancellation of all foreign flights.
The Southeast Asian nation has also isolated infected people and then set about tracking down anyone they might have come into contact with.
The writer noted that the country’s proactive efforts come after two decades in which it has experienced a large improvement in quality of life.
“Between 2002 and 2018, an economic transformation helped to lift more than 45 million Vietnamese out of poverty. Gross domestic product (GDP) per capita has more than doubled, to over US$2,500 in 2018, when the country saw real GDP growth of 7.1%. The health of the nation has improved, too – life expectancy rose from 71 years in 1990 to 76 years in 2015”.
Vietnam has seemingly managed to get the outbreak under control, Fleming noted.