It’s hard to say what’s more impressive: that Vietnam, a country of almost 100 million people neighboring China reported zero total COVID deaths, or that the government expects the country’s economy to grow by 5% during this massive global recession.
Oh, and last Sunday (14th of June), Vietnam had no new cases of coronavirus, essentially squashing the first wave of infections.
Which is why Vietnam set up a tight quarantine in mid-February. The country understood it lacked the resources to take the disease head-on, so it focused all its resources on prevention. The government deployed an impressive contact-tracing program, distributed regular press releases and announcements via phone, instructing people to wash their hands as frequently as possible.
“The government was very quick to establish strict protocols of contact tracing and isolation,” a local source tells ZME Science. “It was treated with all seriousness, and everyone seemed to understand that it was a threat. The Vietnamese government began to encourage more mask wearing, providing lots of public information, detailed information about cases, and announcing that quarantining and testing would be provided at no charge.”
Vietnam’s approach was initially called an overreaction, but it quickly became apparent that the country had succeeded where many others had failed. Aware of its precarious situation, Vietnam took decisive action, and it worked.
Economic prospects also look good. Vietnam was one of the first countries to re-open after the lockdown and is enjoying a secondary benefit as several large companies (including Apple) have moved manufacturing to Vietnam, to hedge against over-reliance on China.
While the IMF and World Bank prognosis are not as optimistic as Vietnam’s national economic prediction, they too predict growth for the East-Asian country.With pragmatism and a steady hand, Vietnam seems to be emerging as a true coronavirus success story.