Vietnamese back government's Covid policies: survey

By Tri Duc   December 8, 2021 | 07:35 pm PT
Vietnamese back government's Covid policies: survey
Soldiers deliver food to families under lockdown in HCMC, September 2, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
The government's handling of the Covid-19 pandemic has a public approval rating of well over 80 percent, a survey has found.

The survey, released Monday, was done by the UNDP and the Mekong Development Research Institute (MDRI) and polled 1,501 people between Sep. 17 and Oct. 15.

Between 84 percent and 89 percent of the respondents rated as "good" or "very good" (out of four options) the efforts by the government, cities/provinces, communes, and villages/towns.

However, the figures dropped to 70-74 percent in areas with severe outbreaks such as Ho Chi Minh City and its neighbors Binh Duong, Long An and Dong Nai.

While 93 percent agreed on the need for stringent social distancing, the rate was lower at 86 percent in the four hotspots, where possibly people were reconciled to opening up and living safely with the disease.

The most stringent social distancing restrictions were under Directive 16, which many localities imposed since late April to curb the fourth outbreak caused by the more virulent Delta variant.

It only allowed people to go outdoors for essential reasons and banned gatherings of more than two in public places.

Only essential businesses were allowed to remain open, public transport was halted and personal transport was restricted.

HCMC, the disease epicenter, applied Directive 16 from July 7 to September 30 after having less stringent restrictions from May 31.

But it kept things very tight from August 23 when it required everyone to stay in place and even did their daily shopping for them. It lifted restrictions and started reopening the economy on October 1.

The survey asked people about their priorities, and 83 percent said saving lives was more important than economic revival. The rates were 71 percent among poor people, 77 percent in the four southern hotspots and 78 percent in areas locked down for at least four months.

The UNDP and the MDRI said there were shortcomings in certain areas like delivery of aid packages to poor, unskilled and seasonal laborers, and workers in services and tourism; utilization of community-based support such as from charity groups and NGOs; and complicated aid procedures.

Vietnam has had more than 1.35 million Covid infections and 26,930 deaths. It has administered 128.68 million vaccine shots and fully immunized 55.5 million people.

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