Apr 13, 2020 / 09:58

Vietnam – exemplary in Covid-19 fight: Foreign media

The Hanoitimes - Early response is one of the most important measures that Vietnam has taken to handle with the pandemic.

Vietnam is exemplary in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic thanks to its strict precautionary measures before the outbreak reached its land, according to the ASEAN Post.

 Vietnam becomes examplary in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo: AFP

At the time of writing, Vietnam has confirmed 260 coronavirus infected cases, including 144 convalescents, and no death as the global infections hit 1.85 million and death toll has reached 114,171.

At first, some speculation about the accuracy of Vietnam’s figures appeared but the doubt has vanished. The media outlet attributed Vietnam’s successful process to “proactive measures” despite the country’s limited resources.

Early response

The country had been preparing itself for the outbreak even before its first Covid-19 cases were confirmed on January 23. The first cases in the country were a Chinese man who travelled from China's Wuhan where the virus first emerged to Hanoi, and his son who contracted the virus from his father.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Vietnam’s Ministry of Health had already issued prevention guidelines when China had just detected 27 cases in Wuhan. The guidelines included close monitoring of border areas and steps to prevent possible infections.

A meeting to discuss strategies to combat the new virus in Vietnam was also held on January 15 by representatives of the health ministry, the WHO, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), according to the ASEAN Post.

 All people from affected areas put under quarantine. Photo: Baodansinh

Moreover, when China reported its first death on January 11 from the coronavirus, Vietnam promptly tightened medical control at all border gates and airports, according to local media.

On February 2, with just six confirmed cases, Vietnam had already suspended flights from the most affected areas of China, canceled entry visas, quarantined hundreds of people and closed schools across the country, according to Spanish news agency Agencia EFE.

In the following weeks, containment measures such as isolation of an entire commune near Hanoi – the first of its kind outside of China – were followed by meticulous tracking of all who had come into contact with infected individuals to prevent community spread.

Good preparations

Agencia EFE quoted Park Kidong, a WHO official in Hanoi, as saying “investment during peacetime,” “early activation of a response system” and “a whole-of-society approach under strong leadership” can be highlighted as reasons for Vietnam’s success so far.

By then, Park notes that the country had been on guard for weeks and in early January, when the first coronavirus infections in China were made public, it had already carried out the first risk assessments and created a special management committee.

Regarding the prior preparations “in peacetime,” the WHO representative emphasized that Vietnam already had an action plan ready in the event of a pandemic, which saved weeks of work.

Supervision

Other than that, Vietnam has also imposed strict monitoring of suspected infections. The country’s health ministry has worked with tech firms to develop an online reporting system in which suspected and confirmed cases of Covid-19 as well as people who were in close contact with them are entered into a database available in real time to the government.

Furthermore, Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications has also introduced a mobile app called NCOVI to allow the public to declare their state of health on a daily basis.

Perhaps, other nations in ASEAN and the rest of the world can learn from Vietnam’s swift response in handling the Covid-19 pandemic, the ASEAN Post exclaimed.