How Vietnam is fighting second wave of coronavirus

By Le Hong Giang - Aug 19, 2020 | 03:34 PM GMT+7

TheLEADERDespite deaths reported day after day in the resurgence of coronavirus, the country refrains from applying nationwide quarantine as the government tries to mitigate detrimental economic impacts.

How Vietnam is fighting second wave of coronavirus
Soldiers are disinfecting Hoi An old town where a number of coronavirus cases were reported

After 99 days of no single case of community transmission, the country has been haunted again after the resurgence of coronavirus with a new case reported on July 25, 2020 in the central city of Danang.

Since then, the pandemic has been spreading to more provinces and cities, bringing the number of cases to 989 on August 19. In particular, the country has reported 26 deaths in the second wave of the pandemic while it recorded no death in the first wave.

As the pandemic has become more complicated than the first wave, some people have been worried about a possible quarantine nationwide as it happened in April.

More than five months ago, the country started fighting against the epidemic when Case 17 was confirmed in Hanoi. The capital city then quarantined a number of areas where this case stayed before being admitted to hospital.

The epidemic become more serious when 19 cases were confirmed in Bach Mai hospital where thousands of patients and their relatives from other provinces and cities come for treatment each day.

As the number of cases fast increased, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc decided to apply a nationwide quaratine for 15 days since April 1. Accordingly, all people were required to stay at home and they could go out only in really necessary cases such as buying foods, medicine, emergency and working in factories. Non-essential services were required to close.

However, no nationwide lockdown was applied again although the coronavirus, which emerged again in Danang, has spread to other localities such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Dong Nai and Hai Duong provinces and causes 26 deaths.

Instead, the quarantine has been applied in some localities, including Danang, Hoi An and Hai Duong cities. Although Hanoi has reported 11 new cases since the resurgence of the coronavirus, the municipal authorities have only required restaurants, bars and cafes to apply social distancing measures.

Minister-cum-Chairman of Government Office Mai Tien Dung has said that drastic measures were being applied to fight the pandemic but at the same time the government tries to mitigate economic impacts.

Accordingly, Vietnam is focusing on increasing testing capacity and it will only apply quarantine on areas which are defined as source of contagion.

“We have to achieve dual goals of fighting the pandemic while promoting social-economic development”, said Dung.

The country has learned the lessons from the nationwide quarantine in April which caused nagetive impacts on economic growth. The epidemic which has been lasting for more than half a year has severely affected the export-based economy.

According to Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Quoc Phuong, in the first wave of epidemic early this year, Vietnam implemented social distancing in more than 20 days which affected tremendously on production and business. Economic growth in the second quarter is very low.

Data from the General Statistics Office shows that as of June 2020, around 30.8 million people aged 15 and over in the country had been negatively affected by the epidemic as they lost jobs and incomes.

“The economy has never experienced difficulties as it is facing now. If Vietnam is attacked by the second wave of Covid-19, its impact on the economy will be very terrible,” said Phuong.

This is the reason why the Prime Minister has asked for the epidemic to be contained by all measures but at the same time he pushed for economic growth.