Coronavirus: Vietnam winning new war against invisible enemy

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Vietnam’s response to coronavirus crisis has been praised by the World Health Organization, and the nation’s positive result offers lessons to other nations struggling to contain the pandemic, Anis Chowduhury and Jomo Kwame Sundaram write for Inter Press Service.

Vietnam, just south of coastal China, is the 15th most populous country in the world with 97 million people. According to its Ministry of Health (MoH), as of 13 April, there were 262 confirmed cases of Covid-19, with 144 recovering or discharged from hospitals, and no deaths.

Poor country, early action

With officials acting quickly to trace and test contacts, as well as quarantine and treat the infected, Vietnam contained the first wave of infections in January. Following a second wave of 41 new cases, Vietnam imposed a national isolation order on 31 March. The country has already conducted more than 121,000 tests, with more than 75,000 people in quarantine or isolation.

After more than a dozen people, linked to Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi, tested positive, authorities have been tracing contacts, advised more than 10,000 people who were at the hospital since 12 March to get tested and locked down a nearby rural hamlet for 14 days.

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute noted: “Vietnam’s experience demonstrates how, by focusing on early risk assessment, effective communication and government-citizen cooperation, an under-resourced country with a precarious healthcare system can manage the pandemic. In facing an indefinite unknown, decisive leadership, accurate information and community solidarity empower people to protect themselves—and each other.” Full article on IPS website

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