Making news

Learning from Vietnam on how to handle COVID-19: Jakarta Post

Vietnam’s latest success story is in the health sector, senior journalist Veeramalla Anjaiah wrote in his article, titled “Learning from Vietnam on how to handle COVID-19”, published on the Jakarta Post on December 28.

According to the article,  Vietnam, with 97.75 million people and a long border with China, has just 1,438 COVID-19 cases and 35 deaths as of December 25.

The journalist wrote it is amazing to see that a developing country like Vietnam can have a better health system and more effective government mechanism at a time when most developed countries are struggling to cope with the pandemic.

He quoted Vietnamese Ambassador to Indonesia Pham Vinh Quang as saying that “There are many factors for Vietnam’s success. The first one is the early response to the pandemic.”

The diplomat said Vietnam correctly predicted the impact of the novel coronavirus and took drastic actions in early January, even before it had appeared in the country.

Echoing the opinion, Prof. Guy Thwaites, Director of the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU) in Ho Chi Minh City, was quoted in “How ‘overreaction’ made Vietnam a virus success”, published in the BBC on May 15 as saying “It very, very quickly acted in ways which seemed to be quite extreme at the time, but were subsequently shown to be rather sensible.”

According to the ambassador, Vietnam had been taking several measures to contain the epidemic since January, including the implementation of containment policies in the affected areas, closing the borders, and putting travel restriction on people.

He described the country’s policies on COVID-19 as transparent, cost-effective, intrusive and labor intensive oriented.

“I think Vietnamese people are obedient to government rules. They listen to [their] government. As a result, COVID-19 was effectively contained there,” said Sudharmono, a private employee in West Jakarta, as quoted by the author.

The Vietnamese ambassador noted that Vietnam and Indonesia had agreed to work together to prevent and stop the spread of the disease.

“Vietnam in the role of ASEAN Chairman 2020 has actively coordinated with Indonesia to organise the ASEAN Special Summit between ASEAN and East Asian partner countries, special ministerial-level meetings and other related meetings to discuss COVID-19 response measures,” Quang said.

“At the United Nations Security Council, the two countries also jointly promoted the adoption of relevant resolutions on pandemic cooperation,” he added./.