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Vietnam mobilising all of society to curb spread of COVID-19: US centre

Vietnam has relied upon mobilising society and conducted massive social closures and extensive surveillance of citizens to prevent the spread of the COVID-19, the US-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) has said.

“Singapore and Vietnam got off to a very early start in responding to the initial outbreak,” said Senior Adviser and Director of CSIS’s Southeast Asia Programme Amy Searight.

While Singapore is now grappling with a new wave of infections, “Vietnam has weathered the epidemic remarkably well, with only 268 cases out of a population of 95.5 million people and not a single reported death.”

In the early stage of the pandemic, Vietnam shuttered non-essential businesses and schools and enacted large-scale quarantining.

The northern province of Vinh Phuc was put under a 21-day quarantine starting on February 13 and tens of thousands of citizens have gone into quarantine, she added.

Vietnam’s monitoring and surveillance of citizens has been supported by the Government’s extensive network of informants, which has helped identify and quarantine those suspected of infection and those who have been in contact with them, Searight explained.

People’s confidence in the Government’s response to COVID-19 remains high, with up to 62 percent of respondents to the largest public survey on the disease, conducted by the Berlin-based Dalia Research, saying it is doing the “right amount” in response to the pandemic.

The World Health Organisation (WHO)’s Regional Director for the Western Pacific Takeshi Kasai previously lauded the prevention efforts of many countries, including Vietnam.

He said the country has shown the world its effective leadership at different levels, from the Prime Minister and ministers to local authorities./