Social distancing a hot topic in Vietnam: Google trends

By Long Nguyen   April 4, 2020 | 03:38 pm PT
Topics related to social distancing and news from the Health Ministry are top topics that interest Vietnamese internet users amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Social distancing" and related topics started to gain more popularity last month, after Vietnam confirmed the 17th Covid-19 patient on March 6 after going 22 days without new infections.

Notably, the number of Vietnamese googling these keywords skyrocketed on March 31, a day before a nationwide social distancing campaign was implemented, Google said Friday.

The social distancing campaign also sparked an increase in searches related to delivery services, online shopping and online learning.

With many working from home and all eateries closed, the search tool was also deployed by many for information on electric devices and home appliances such as printers, computers, air fryers and cookers.

Previously, the number of searches related to the Covid-19 virus and disease had topped on January 31 and decreased gradually before March and gone atop again on March 29.

Saigonese stand apart while waiting to withdraw money from a local ATM on March 31, 2020, one day before the national social distancing campaign. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh.

Masked Saigonese maintain some distance between each other while waiting to use a local ATM on March 31, 2020, a day before the national social distancing campaign. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.

Google also revealed that at the beginning of the pandemic, many people were looked for information from the World Health Organization (WHO). However, most Vietnamese are now reading the news released by the Ministry of Health.

The search engine has listed five most popular topics related to the pandemic in March among Vietnamese users: updated information about the disease; the number of infections in the country; symptoms; provinces recording infections; and the total number of infections.

Around 64 million users, or over half the Vietnam's population, are online.

As of Sunday morning, 240 Covid-19 infections have been confirmed in the country.

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