Vietnam has reported 0 COVID-19 related deaths with only around 268 cases after 90+ days since the first outbreak in January.
A country with over 96 million people, that borders on China, has managed to contain the pandemic better than most similarly sized countries with larger economies.
How has the Socialist Republic of Vietnam been so successful in fighting the coronavirus?
– Early on the government made firm decisions to prioritise and preserve the health of its people even if it would come at the cost of the economy.
– The government called for a national emergency after only the 6th case was reported and was fast in implementing social distancing, forced quarantines as well as targeted testing and tracing, with almost 185,000 free tests done so far.
– Information campaigns were started to inform the public about the pandemic, so there was clarity on what people could expect and had to do, including the wearing of face masks.
– Medical students, retired doctors and nurses were mobilized to join the fight on the frontlines.
– There is close cooperation between state institutions, ministries, social movements and political organizations like the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, with the prime-minister calling the fight against the coronavirus the “spring offensive of 2020” referring to the military offensive that defeated U.S. imperialism in 1975.
– To minimize workers and their families being affected by the lockdown, the government approved a 111.55 million dollar financial support package that includes covering all costs for workers in quarantine or who are recovering from the disease.
– To maintain food security, the government provided essential goods to neighborhoods in lockdown, installed free rice dispensing ATMs and put a halt to rice exports to other countries.
– On top of that it has donated 550,000 masks to Europe, sent 450,000 protective suits to the U.S., donated protective clothing, medical masks, testing equipment and kits to Cambodia and Laos and testing kits to Indonesia, to show its “spirit of mutual support to partner countries.”
The World Health Organization and World Economic Forum have both praised Vietnam for its comprehensive, low-cost model of disease prevention.
While the pandemic showed some rich countries acting selfishly, Vietnam demonstrated there is another cure for the pandemic: solidarity.