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Apr 22, 2020 / 09:01

Strong leadership helps keep Vietnam’s coronavirus infections low: WHO

Political commitment is believed one of significant reasons in Vietnam's fight against the pandemic.

It’s strong leadership by the government significantly that has helped Vietnam contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, according to a senior official from the World Health Organization (WHO).

 Director of the WHO Western Pacific Takeshi Kasai. Photo: VOA  

Vietnam has shown strong government leadership in implementing measures, Takeshi Kasai, WHO Western Pacific director, said at an online regular briefing on April 21, Reuters reported.

Cooperation among its people is another reason helping Vietnam control the pandemic, the health expert said, noting that discipline among its public in following social rules to reduce infections has also helped.

At the time of the writing, Vietnam, the country of nearly 100 million people, has reported no deaths and 268 cases of the coronavirus, far fewer than most countries in Southeast Asia and the rest of the world.

In comparison with nations in the Southeast Asia, the number of infections and deaths is respective 9,125 and 11 in Singapore, 7,135 and 616 in Indonesia, 6,599 and 437 in the Philippines, 5,482 and 92 in Malaysia, and 2,811 and 48 in Thailand.

 Source: Johns Hopkins University. Chart: Linh Pham

Leadership is also one of the reasons attributed to Vietnam’s effective fight against the pandemic. Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus lauded Vietnam’s efforts against coronavirus by conducting early and effective measures, especially the political commitment of senior leaders.

He made the praise at a meeting with Assistant to the Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Quang Hieu in Geneva, Switzerland on March 6, where the WHO chief said he appreciated Vietnam’s ASEAN Chairmanship and the co-ordination among ASEAN countries in the fight against the epidemic, the Vietnam News Agency reported.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Country Representative in Thailand John MacArthur pointed out that it’s political commitment early has enabled Vietnam to significantly curb the spread of the new coronavirus, the NPR reported.

“They had political commitment early on at the highest level,” John MacArthur said. “And that political commitment went from central level all the way down to the hamlet level.”

Vietnam has soon set up the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control led by a deputy prime minister and a system of this managing body at each lower level.

With the motto “fighting the epidemic is like fighting against the enemy”, Vietnam indeed has been ready to take all measures with the participation of all fronts namely health system, military, public security, and local authorities to stop the virus spreading.

Dr Kidong Park, WHO Representative to Vietnam, considers social unity one of the prominent reasons to help Vietnam keep the number of infections low, according to the Vietnam Television (VTV).