Vietnam has received numerous compliments and endorsements from the United Nations, WTO as well as other countries for its effort in fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite sharing a borderline of 1400 km with China, the heart of the outbreaking COVID-19, Vietnam, a nation with 96 billion people, has succeeded in controlling the spreading of this virus. Until 19th June 2021, Vietnam has recorded slightly more than 4500 COVID-19 cases (nearly two-thirds of the figure has recovered) and 37 deaths. Being a developing economic country with a lot of limitations in terms of technology, Vietnam’s reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic has been praised for its opportune, effective and transparent methods.
- Vietnam’s proactive actions to detect the source of the infection
Vietnam instituted stringent quarantine policies, and with the directive of the Ministry of Health, the government has pursued the “Five Strategies” in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which is “preventing, detecting, isolating, zoning and stamping out the pandemic”. Instead of testing every citizen, Vietnam targets those with a history of prior exposure. Not only did the government document those infected and their direct contracts, second, third and fourth levels of contact to infected persons are also being monitored intensively. The strict contact-tracing can be considered to be successfully conducted. After this process, suspected Covid-19 people are instructed to quarantine in the government ‘s publicly-managed facilities. In addition, people arriving in Vietnam from virus-hit countries also are required to quarantine with the aim to guarantee the highest level of prevention. One surprising fact is that technology has played an important role as it notifies people about suspected and confirmed infected patients around the app users. For instance, NCOVI – an official application of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Information and Communications – supports by being a channel for people voluntary medical declarations. Not only that, it is a legitimate source of the epidemic information from the state agencies. Furthermore, the level of transparency can be seen through the way the government updates COVID-19 patients’ data every day and every hour (morning, noon, and evening).
- The percentage of Vietnamese people satisfied with the government’s measures to control COVID-19 ranked the highest in the world.
According to reports by MDRI and UNDP, Vietnamese people showed trust and confidence in the Government’s response to COVID-19. It is the high consensus and strong support of the respondents for the Government’s policy and actions to prevent the pandemic. Regarding the reactions of governments to the COVID-19 pandemic, an average of 58% of people rated ‘well’ their government’s responses to the pandemic. In this list, Vietnam stands at the top of the list with up to 96% of the respondents expressing satisfaction with the government’s prevention and control work to the COVID-19, followed by China with the rate of 93%. Overall, Asian countries have the highest average satisfaction rate (75%), followed by Europe (45%) and Latin America (42%).
- Vaccine situation in Vietnam
It is stated that the COVID-19 vaccination is essential to prevent Vietnam from a blockade situation like other countries. It is expected that Vietnam will have about 110 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine this year. This includes 38.9 million doses from the COVAX Facility program, 30 million doses from AstraZeneca, 31 million doses from Pfizer/BioNTech. In addition, the Ministry of Health has registered with COVAX Facility to purchase about 10 million more doses of vaccine under the cost-sharing mechanism. As of May 19, 2021, nearly 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Vietnam.
Countries that have successfully prevented the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus all follow a very clear formula: Consistent propaganda messages, mobilizing people to wear masks, and implementing drastic measures to trace the source of the infection, and Vietnam has become a prime example of that efficiency. However, in my viewpoint, Vietnam has more room to improve even more in terms of forestalling the COVID-19 from happening. Due to the lack of vigilance and self-discipline, after a period of time not having new COVID-19 patients, people did not strictly follow the prevention measures, and it led to the rise of tourism and economic activities. Therefore, during this time, Vietnam is facing a new wave of infected patients around the country, someday the number go up to more than 100 infected people. Although it is still a modest number compared to other nations at the moment, strict prevention measures must be conducted anytime, anywhere and any period.
Chi Trinh and Thu Do, Students of Faculty of International Studies, Hanoi University, Vietnam, 2021.
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