- COVID-19 IN VIET NAM AND THE NATIONAL RESPONSE
COVID-19 in Viet Nam
Viet Nam has been deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Viet Nam recorded its first COVID-19 cases on January 23, 2020, rapidly activating existing preparedness planning. Epidemic declarations, tightening of border control, applying aviation permits, revocation and visa restrictions were swiftly announced. The authorities instituted proactive contact tracing, targeted testing, self-isolation and quarantine measures to curtail spread and prevent community transmission. From April 1 nationwide strict physical distancing rules were adopted for 15 days, requiring all persons to stay at home except for essential and emergency outings, and closing non-essential businesses.
From 16 to 22 April, these physical distancing rules were maintained in 10 “high risk” cities and provinces. No new cases of community transmission were detected in Viet Nam for a period of 99 days from 17 April, allowing significant easing of physical distancing measures and partial economic recovery. From 25 July, a further wave of COVID-19 community transmission was detected, including the country’s first deaths from the virus, which led to the reintroduction of physical distancing measures throughout areas deemed high-risk. 30 August was the first full day since Julky 25 that saw no new infections and it appears that Vietnam is once again on the threshold of defeating the virus. As of 31 August 2020, Viet Nam has reported a total of 1,040 cases, with 32 deaths. Globally, Viet Nam continues to be commended for its early, low budget, contact tracing, strategic and targeted testing, isolation and treatment response which have led to a relatively low number of cases compared with most of its ASEAN neighbors and globally— certainly for its size of population of 96 million and for a country with a 1450 km land border with mainland China.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a public health, development and mobility crisis exacerbating vulnerabilities and inequalities. The pandemic has had major multidimensional impacts on the lives of all populations in Viet Nam, especially children, women, the elderly and other vulnerable groups such as migrants, ethnic minorities, labourers, smallholder farmers, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), people living with disabilities (PwD) and people living with chronic health issues. Market disruptions, nationally and internationally, including significant limitations on international travel are generating economic impacts that disproportionately impact vulnerable groups and populations and in turn are driving many social impacts. Schools closures, in place from February to early May, have disrupted the learning of 21.2 million children, whilst it has been estimated that by the end of the second quarter the crisis could affect the livelihoods of 4.6 to 10.3 million workers. As some 35 million Vietnamese workers do not have social insurance, particularly among those working in the agriculture and informal sectors, there is a legitimate concern that those just above or on the poverty line, including the rural poor, are being hard hit by the impact of COVID-19, as the outbreak threatens their access to basic essential services and already vulnerable livelihoods.
Supply chain and market disruptions in the agricultural sector due to COVID-19 have combined with the impact of natural disasters and crop and livestock epidemics, particularly drought, saltwater intrusion and African swine fever. COVID-19 impacts on agricultural and nonagricultural livelihoods have been severely impacted.
Source: UN Sustainable Development Group