|Returning to school after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, students are required to follow health recommendations, including washing their hands with disinfectant solution and having their body temperature checked before entering the classroom
This comes after Vietnam joins Greece, Slovenia, Jordan, and Iceland in being officially recognised internationally for both “flattening the curve” in terms of severely reducing COVID-19 cases, but also succeeding in treating patients, with the majority of cases enjoying a full recovery and successfully being reintegrated back into the community. This level of sustained success has enabled schools to reopen, businesses to resume operation, and people to go back to living their normal life.
Due to the country’s large population and long border with China, it was initially feared that Vietnam would be vulnerable to virus outbreaks in a similar manner to the northern neighbour which was badly ravaged by the world’s first COVID-19 cases.
Showing great awareness of the danger posed by the spread of the infectious disease, the country moved to take decisive steps to combat the virus at the early stages of the outbreak. Indeed, its actions even took place before the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and ultimately have contributed to the country reporting no COVID-19 deaths.
Vox, a news and opinion website based in the United States, believes the Vietnamese success in containing the epidemic can largely be put down to three combined measures, including conducting mass testing, tracking down individuals who COVID-19 cases came into contact with, and moving quickly to isolate suspected cases.
The country began its testing campaign as soon as three people who had recently returned from Wuhan in China, the place of origin for the COVID-19, were confirmed to be carrying the deadly virus.
At present approximately 300,000 people have been tested. Despite the figure seeming small in comparison to the millions of people tested in the US, it is a major outlier in looking at how many people the government has tested per confirmed case.
Mass testing was first conducted for people arriving from areas hit by the COVID-19 and other epicenters, in addition to those who had contact with suspected cases, and those displaying symptoms of the virus.
The country has been carrying out mass testing in hotspots or high-risk areas, including dense markets in an effort to detect the early signs of the virus and nip in the bud possible sources of infection.
The government moved swiftly to suspend the majority of international flights coming to and from badly affected nations. Upon landing in the country, all passengers are now required to fill out a medical declaration form and have their body temperature checked. Suspected cases are then transferred to concentrated quarantine facilities for 14 days, whilst being provided with free accommodation and meals.
Moreover, the country has also launched numerous public communication campaigns which are aimed at encouraging citizens to strictly follow preventive measures, including the social distancing order, along with the health sector’s recommendations.
With life starting to return to normal in Vietnam with the reopening of business and schools, Vox believes this indicates how successful an early and robust response against the virus can be. In containing the COVID-19, the nation didn’t use advanced technology or new methods, rather, it simply did the ordinary things extraordinarily well.