Vietnam’s calm, proactive fight against Covid-19 pandemic

Wednesday, 2020-04-01 17:11:12
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People declare their health information at a field rapid test station in Hanoi's Dong Da District.
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NDO – The Covid-19 pandemic has broken out around the world, causing over 720,000 infection cases and nearly 35,000 deaths in over 200 countries and territories, and this figure shows no sign of stopping.

In Vietnam, the number of infections still increases day by day and there is high risk of further COVID-19 infection in the community. The Prime Minister on March 31 issued Directive No.16/CT-TTg on the implementation of urgent measures in respect of Covid-19 prevention and control. Accordingly, the social distancing order will be implemented nationwide for 15 days from midnight of April 1 according to the principle of “each family isolates itself from other families, one village from other villages, one commune from other communes, one province from other provinces”, while employees and workers in factories and production establishments must keep a safe distance from each other, wear face masks and make sure areas are properly disinfected and sterilised.

It can be said that Vietnam has not been careless with the pandemic. The Secretariat and the Government have managed both directly and drastically from the beginning as well as taken many strong measures, often “one step ahead” of the recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO) on anti-epidemic action. Therefore, despite many difficulties and limited resources, Vietnam has achieved positive and important results in disease control in the first phase, while expressing its resolution, bravery and confidence in the current phase thanks to the appropriate methods. The authorities have ensured the sufficient supply of essential goods to people, receiving high appreciation from the world.

With the steadfast spirit towards the dual goals of preventing and controlling the epidemic successfully and ensuring socio-economic development, the Party’s direction and the Government’s administration have been praised and trusted by the people in the country as well as overseas Vietnamese. In recent days, quarantinined people have expressed their gratitude to the Party, State, army, public security forces and medical staff for their care. This shows the strength and humanity of Vietnam’s regime.

Directive No.16 was issued in response to the appeal of the Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong, imbued with the spirit of attaching the utmost importance to people’s health and life above all else in order to prevent and control the disease in a proactive manner. The Directive also highlighted the intelligence, bravery and determination of the Government, ministries, agencies and localities in a thusfar effective Covid-19 fight through the implementation of urgent measures. In addition, the Government has affirmed its efforts in ensuring the supply of essential goods and services to people in all cases.

In fact, according to reports from localities and enterprises, up to now, the supply of essential goods to the market has been consistently plentiful, easily meeting consumption demand. Distribution businesses and many small traders in the markets still continue to serve people. The distribution systems of essential goods in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are still open, avoiding any shortage of goods. However, many rumours misinterpreting the spirit of Directive No.16 have appeared on social networks, making many people confused and then rushing to supermarkets to buy goods for storage, particularly in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Obviously, this activity creates a high risk of infection.

Depending on the development of the epidemic, the Government will issue appropriate recommendations and requirements. If the epidemic continues to evolve negatively and spread in the community, there must be higher and more stringent decrees. However, in order to effectively implement these measures, it is crucial to prepare and take gradual steps. These are not bans, but only orders, recommendations, restrictions and requirements made by the Government leaders.

Currently, the Government still allows factories to operate but is asking employees of state agencies and enterprises to apply information technology in order to work from home. The Government has assigned unit heads to monitor and handle this. If there is a Covid-19 infected case in an agency due to loose management or employees still gathering, the leader must be responsible. If factories, which have thousands of workers, are not controlled well, causing an infection case, they will be closed immediately to avoid cross-contamination and infection of the community.

The Government has not yet issued a blockade order as the epidemic is still under control. Therefore, it is essential to ensure issues related to life, production, economy and society. If we to ignore this opportunity, considered as a “golden time”, the situation will be more complicated and difficult. The Government sees that with the above requirements, people and enterprises will face numerous difficulties or feel uncomfortable as their lives are temporarily disturbed. However, it is hoped that all will strictly comply because the fight against the epidemic requires the consensus of agencies from central to local levels as well as the support of the people.

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