Making news

Vietnam’s response to nCoV outbreak spotlighted on Asia Times

The Asia Times website on January 30 posted an article reporting on the Vietnamese Government’s response to rapid developments of the pneumonia epidemic caused by the novel coronavirus (nCoV).

The story quoted Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc as stating that fighting the now-global nCoV outbreak is “like fighting an enemy”, which spoke to the need for government-public unity to combat the disease’s spread.

It said the Vietnamese Government has reacted quickly to fast-moving developments, and there also appears to have been competent cooperation between national ministries and regional departments, as well as with provincial People’s Committees and local governments.

The country has introduced a temporary ban on all tourist visas for people from the affected areas of China, while news reports indicated authorities had shut at least part of the country’s border with China on January 28.

The Ministry of Transport, meanwhile, has requested a suspension of all flights to and from the most infected areas of China.

According to the article, the proximity of China and the importance of Chinese visitors to Vietnam’s booming tourism sector, worth roughly one-fifth of gross domestic product (GDP) last year, means the gathering health crisis could impact heavily on the economy.

However, Prime Minister Phuc also said that his government “accepts economic losses to protect the lives and health of people,” Asia Times noted.

As of January 31 morning, 9,805 nCoV cases had been confirmed in 22 countries, with 214 deaths all of which were in China, which reported more than 9,600 infection cases.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the nCoV outbreak as a global health emergency./.