Vietnam Successfully Contains Coronavirus, Society Revives After Distancing

Vietnam Successfully Contains Coronavirus, Society Revives After Distancing

By Ho Binh Minh

HANOI, May 13 (DHA) - This weekend, Ho Guom pedestrians' street in Hanoi downtown, a weekend entertainment spot that attracts thousands of visitors and locals, will reopen after more than three months of suspension. Earlier, on May 4, 2020, tens of millions of pupils nationwide returned to school after taking a long break from the coronavirus epidemic (COVID-19) since the end of January this year, a key indicator to show that Vietnam has successfully contained the virus spread.

Commenting on the country's secret of success, in a recent interview with the Voice of Vietnam radio, WHO representative in Vietnam cited early preparation and experience by the domestic health system in coping with the Serious Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003 as well as bird flu in subsequent years.

From January 23, when Vietnam detected the first patients infected with the virus until May 13, the country recorded 288 cases, 88% of whom have been cured and no fatality, the government said. A country of 96 million people sharing a long border with China, Vietnam has been much more effective at preventing the pandemic than richer and more developed countries. In Southeast Asia, the Philippines with a slightly larger population has 11,350 people infected, of whom 751 have died.

The Washington Post on April 30 cited experts at King’s College London and the University of Bath as saying Vietnam's success could be explained by three key tactics used by the government: temperature screening and testing, targeted lockdowns and constant communication.

The Guardian, in a story published on May 1, wrote: “Out of the key factors that contributed to Vietnam’s successful coronavirus response, timeliness was the first. Vietnam acted early and did not hesitate to alert its citizens. On 28 January, when the country recorded only two cases, the government announced that it was planning for a scenario in which thousands of people could contract the virus.”

Looking further, the Asia Times held that “through early and efficient border closures, uncharacteristic official transparency and strategic Covid-19 diplomacy, communist-run Vietnam is fast emerging as a likely post-pandemic winner.”

Before the country reaps future benefits from the early control of the pandemic, many social activities are now returning to normal, including the reopening of schools and public bus system in major cities, such as in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City from May 4, while domestic traffic by air and train has been increasing frequency from April 29, 2020.

Not only do these news please the Vietnamese people, they also give hope to us, the  Organizing Committee of the Halong Bay Heritage Marathon 2020, that our traditional race scheduled to be held on November 22 will take place as planned.

We understand that, along with the government's drastic and effective measures in the prevention of the pandemic and people's consensus, Vietnam has been and will continue to be a safe and attractive destination for international visitors, among them long-distance running lovers who often combine their trips to explore the world with conquering the most beautiful running routes.

Amiad Horowitz, an American who has now lived for seven years in Hanoi, describes Vietnam as “the safest place in the world”. In an article posted on April 30 on People’s World, a forum promoting rapid progress and socialism in the United States, Horowitz wrote: “This war is not yet over. Despite Vietnam’s great success so far in stopping the spread of the virus and keeping the number of fatalities at zero, the government and the people know that they need to remain vigilant. Everyone is prepared to do what needs to be done to win… If Americans choose to look around the world to see what can be done to end this pandemic, Vietnam and its people have set the example.”

13.05.2020

 

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