CNN hails Vietnam’s accomplishment in preventing coronavirus deaths

By Nguyen Quy   May 30, 2020 | 10:58 pm PT
CNN hails Vietnam’s accomplishment in preventing coronavirus deaths
Medical staff test samples to detect Covid-19 infections in Hanoi, April 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.
Early action, meticulous contact tracing and public communication have contributed to Vietnam’s success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic and preventing any deaths, CNN said.

"Vietnam with a population of 97 million people has not reported a single coronavirus-related death despite its long border with China and the millions of Chinese visitors it receives each year," the American news site said in an article on Saturday.

Saturday is the 44th day Vietnam has gone without an infection caused by community transmission. Its Covid-19 count is 328, with 279 patients having recovered after treatment, according to the Health Ministry.

"This is all the more remarkable considering Vietnam is a low-middle income country with a much less-advanced healthcare system than others in the region. It only has 8 doctors for every 10,000 people, a third of the ratio in South Korea, according to the World Bank," CNN wrote.

Its success in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic lay in "a combination of factors, from the government's swift, early response to prevent its spread, to rigorous contact tracing and quarantining and effective public communication," the cable channel noted.

CNN quoted Guy Thwaites, an infectious disease doctor who works in one of the main hospitals designated by the Vietnamese government to treat Covid-19 patients, as saying the numbers matched the reality on the ground. "I go to the wards every day, I know the cases, I know there has been no death," said Thwaites, who also heads the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Ho Chi Minh City.

Thwaites said the speed of Vietnam's response was the main reason behind its success. "Their actions in late January and early February were very much in advance of many other countries. And that was enormously helpful ... for them to be able to retain control."

He noted that Vietnam's rich experience in dealing with infectious disease outbreaks, such as the SARS epidemic from 2002 to 2003 and the following avian influenza, had helped the government and the public to better prepare for the Covid-19 pandemic. "The population is much more respectful of infectious diseases than many perhaps more affluent countries or countries that don't see as much infectious disease - Europe, the UK and the US for example."

Last week, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization hailed Vietnam’s success in handling Covid-19 pandemic, saying Vietnam was quick to respond to and remains in control of Covid-19.

Politico, a U.S. political news organization, recently said that Vietnam has responded best to the Covid-19 pandemic in terms of health and economic impacts.

On Friday Singaporean PM Lee Hsien Loong praised Vietnam’s success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic, and thanked the nation for lending a helping hand.

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