Vietnam’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic so far

After confirming 16 Covid-19 cases in Feb, Vietnam quickly took actions to quarantine the whole village where the 16 patients resided. The quick action stopped the spread and even earned a global recognition after the comedian John Oliver praised my country’s effort and an incredibly catchy song used to increase hygiene awareness.

Just as the country was one week away from declaring safe from virus, the 17th case appeared. A young woman returned home from a trip to Italy without informing the authority or going into self-isolation. The number of cases rose steadily, reaching 61 as of now and potentially going higher in the near future. It is worth noting that Vietnam has had no casualties so far and 16 recoveries. Overall, I have been quite pleased with how my country handled this pandemic.

As mentioned above, the authority successfully isolated the first 16 cases and stopped the spread. If there was a positive case, the government locked down the whole street or area to prevent spread. Furthermore, it was announced that citizens would receive tests and treatment of the Coronavirus for free.

The head of the Health Ministry’s Planning-Finance Department, Nguyen Nam Lien, confirmed that individuals will receive free treatment and testing for the viral disease, Saigon Times reports.

A Vietnam Social Security official, Le Van Phuc, explained that the entire medical bill will be covered by the national health insurance fund for patients suspected of having the novel virus, but tested negative. Those who test positive for the virus will have their tests and treatment covered by the state budget.

Those who are put into mandatory quarantine will also not be charged any fees for their medical care and stay. Within isolation wards, those quarantined will receive drinking water, towels, and mouthwash for free, as well as medically prescribed cautionary items such as face masks and hand sanitizer.

Source: Saigoneer

Flights to and from China were already banned in Vietnam as of Feb 1, 2020, a swift action given that the outbreak was going to worsen in China. Three days ago, the country banned visitors from UK and Schengen Nations as the number of cases in Europe keeps increasing at an alarming rate.

There are also disinfection cabins set up in the capital – Hanoi. To be clear, whether this initiative is truly effective can be challenged, but it’s still a step into the right direction, given what is going on here in the US