Vietnam exits top 10 in Covid-19 resilience ranking due to new outbreak

By Nguyen Quy   March 1, 2021 | 09:00 pm PT
Vietnam exits top 10 in Covid-19 resilience ranking due to new outbreak
Medical workers stand guard at a Covid-19 checkpoint in Hai Duong Province, February 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Hoang Phuong.
Vietnam has fallen eight spots to 18th out of 53 most resilient Covid-19 era economies in Bloomberg's ranking.

The country posted a resilience score of 57.3 out of 100, down from 74.3 in the November ranking where it ranked 10th.

Vietnam's slip was due to the new Covid-19 outbreak linked to new strains, with millions placed under lockdown in February, Bloomberg stated.

The ranking measured 53 economies of over $200 billion GDP on key metrics including growth in virus cases to overall mortality rates, testing capabilities and vaccine supply agreements, capacity of local healthcare systems, the impact of lockdowns on these economies, and freedom of movement. It used data reported until Feb. 24.

The report said Vietnam scored 77 out of 100 in "lockdown severity." A high score indicates social and economic activity are tightly restricted by government policy, meaning people are experiencing greater disruptions to their lives.

Vietnam has struggled with a new wave of Covid-19 since Jan. 28 after a streak of 55 days without community transmissions in what the government said was caused by the U.K.-originated variant. In early February, many areas in Vietnam were placed under lockdown as authorities raced against time to contain the spread of the virus.

New Zealand achieved the best score of 22 in "lockdown severity," while the U.K. performed worst.

In terms of community mobility, which measures the movement of people to offices and retail spaces compared to a pre-pandemic baseline, Vietnam saw a decrease of 20.3 percent in travel, triggered by lockdown orders.

Of the 53 economies, Vietnam had a test positivity rate of 0.1 percent while Mexico had the highest rate at 28.6 percent. The best rate of zero was scored by New Zealand, Australia and Singapore.

Vietnam's access to Covid-19 vaccines reached only 21 percent, the report said.

While the production of domestic vaccines is underway, the government has speeded up foreign procurement to vaccinate some prioritized categories of people.

It has ordered 30 million doses from AstraZeneca, with the first batch of 117,600 doses arriving in Ho Chi Minh City last week. The country is stepping up negotiations with vaccine manufacturers in the U.S., Russia and some other countries.

New Zealand with its closed borders, four vaccine deals and near-elimination of the virus locally held on to the top position, followed by Australia and Singapore.

Having the highest case tally and death toll in the world, the U.S. stood 27th in the ranking while China, once the Covid-19 epicenter, ranked sixth.

Vietnam, a country of 98 million people, has reported 849 community transmissions in 13 cities and provinces during the ongoing outbreak.

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