Fight against COVID-19: A Vietnam Way
-BY ABHIGYAN PANDEY
As the world struggles through the COVID-19 pandemic, dark clouds of gloom do not wish to shy away easily. However, a South-east Asian country has apparently made a conviction to welcome the clouds of normalcy and elation and throw the gloom far away from its sight. Yes, this country is none other than Vietnam.
Once a French colony that later engaged in a military war against the USA in the late 1960s wherein stepped out victorious showing its invincibility if the country of 97 million citizens stand united. Such is the dedication inevitable today in Vietnam.
Exploring Vietnam's way to glory
While the entire globe was eyeing to bolster their economy without anticipating a global pandemic which was apparently waiting patiently to hit the streets of the world in a devastating manner, Nguyen Xuan Phuc the Prime Minister of Vietnam declared war on coronavirus on 23rd January itself when the country recorded its first case.
If we look into Vietnam's emphatic approach meticulously, a very surprising difference comes into light. The U.S.A and Vietnam registered their first case in the same week of January.
However, the U.S could have avoided 36,000 COVID-19 related deaths if it had begun its lockdown March 8 instead of March 15, according to Columbia University.
In the same race, Vietnam apparently stood ahead because of its collective responsibility to fight against the novel disease. Aware of the gravity of the problem, it effectively implemented the measures resulting in only 303 cases far less than the most developed country in the world, U.S.A.
On March 24th, the leaders sat together under the roof in Ho Chi Minh City. The meeting echoed the nation’s incapacity to deal with more than 1000 cases.
“During the next 10 days to two weeks, do not allow the number of cases to exceed 1000 nationwide, otherwise the risk of disease outbreaks is very”, a summary of the meeting on the city government website said.
Hence, the administration seemed to be in no mood to let the ordeal define the trajectory of people's life.
The top brass did not delay to investigate China’s narrative at that time. It launched cyberattacks in china to get better knowledge about the infection.
The efforts and hard work have produced positive results as Vietnam sits in the lap of good fortune.
Doctor Todd Pollock of Harward partnership for health advancement in Vietnam offers “When you are dealing with these kinds of unknown novel potentially dangerous pathogens, it's better to overreact.”
Vietnam's Modus Operandi
Following the institutional curbs in the entire country, Vietnam decided to send everyone who entered the country and contacted with confirmed case-to quarantine center for 14 days. Moreover, the government bore the cost for every patient in the country.
Vietnam swiftly enacted strict measures. From bringing in travel restriction to closing the border with China and increasing health check-ups at borders and other vulnerable places, the government nodded their heads each time without thinking twice signalling its seriousness towards the life of each Vietnamese.
Schools were completely shut from lunar new year holiday to mid-may. Contact tracing operations had set the tone in the difficult hour.
Professor Thwait opined that Vietnam is a country that has dealt with a lot of outbreak in the past from SARS in 2003 to Asian influenza in 2010 and a large outbreak on measles and dengue giving it an edge when drawn comparison with other rival countries as far as experience is concerned.
Thus, with only 300 cases of COVID 19 and zero death, Vietnam has proved that perseverance coupled with conviction can help us meet down the idealistic perception into reality.
In the future, Vietnam's success story will continue to be a major talking point when the discussion moves into an effective solution to a problem. Eventually, the room will amplify "do it like the Vietnam way".