(April 19, 2020)

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus was first confirmed in Vietnam on January 23, 2020. As of April 19, Vietnam recorded 268 cases, of which 202 patients were discharged and no deaths were recorded. Hanoi is currently the most affected city with 112 confirmed cases.

Vietnam is cited as one of the best-organised epidemic control programs in the world. Vietnam has implemented measures to isolate, monitor and restrict people from epidemic areas, close borders and deploy the implementation of medical declarations. Crowded people restricted, and many places take measures such as measuring body temperature, equipping disinfectants, distributing masks for free in public places, tightening control. Domestic travel and trade is also limited. Like most of the countries affected by the epidemic in the world, Vietnam has suffered a significant social and economic impact.

Stage 1 includes the first 16 cases of Covid-19. The first two confirmed cases were admitted to Cho Ray Hospital, Ho Chi Minh City, including a 66-year-old Chinese man (case # 1) traveling from Wuhan to Hanoi to visit his son, and his 28-year-old son (case # 2), who is believed to have contracted the disease from his father when they met in Nha Trang. On February 1, a 25-year-old woman (case # 6) was identified with corona virus infection in Khanh Hoa province. She came into contact with a receptionist and involved two Chinese father and son (cases # 1 and 2). Notably, this is the first case of domestic transmission in Vietnam, leading to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc announcing the outbreak in Vietnam and making a decision to tighten the border. February 25, case # 16 was declared rehab and discharged. This is also the last case in the first 16 cases in Vietnam discharged. In the first 16 cases of SARS-CoV-2, Vietnam had many cases of patients, including infants, the elderly and people with many underlying conditions. Hospitals have organized a consultation, offering the best treatment regimen for each patient, controlling the underlying disease, helping create opportunities for successful corona virus treatment. In addition, isolation and testing methods for early detection of viruses also contribute to the success of treatment.

Stage 2 includes cases of invasion from abroad. On the evening of March 6, Hanoi announced the first case positive for corona virus, a 26-year-old woman. This is the 17th case of infection (# 17) in Vietnam. Case # 17 has terminated the chain of 22 consecutive days without new cases being reported in Vietnam, although there have been many suspected and isolated cases during that period. On the evening of March 19, the total number of patients nationwide increased to 85.

Stage 3 with risk of spreading in the community. On March 20, the Ministry of Health announced that 2 patients of Covid-19, case #86 and #87 were 2 female nurses at Bach Mai Hospital with a history of epidemiology without showing the source of infection when both didn’t contact with Covid-19 patients. On March 21, Vietnam temporarily suspended entry for all foreigners from 0:00 on March 22, and concentrated isolation for 14 days in all cases of entry. From 0:00 on April 1, Vietnam implemented social isolation within 15 days. On the same day, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc announced the nationwide outbreak of COVID-19, replacing the previous outbreak decision on February 1, 2020.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, all schools and universities in Vietnam are closed to limit the spread of infection. Although I don't go to school, I can teach students online via the internet. In Vietnam, implementation of social isolation to limit the spread of the virus. During that time, the government also banned the operation of public transport, closed shopping malls and eateries, avoided gathering (just opening food supermarkets), and prohibited entry of foreigners, minimize domestic flights ... In addition, limit going out and gathering a lot of people (people only go out when absolutely necessary such as buying food, and can still work online at home), take serious precautions to wear a mask, wash hands with soap often, and use hand sanitizer when touching foreign objects. Cases of non-compliance are sanctioned. All of the above are necessary measures to limit the spread of disease.

(Source: Vietnam Ministry of Health, Updated: April 19, 2020)

FIGURE 2: Functional forces set up checkpoints for medical examination of people
from neighboring provinces to Ho Chi Minh City

(Source: https://thanhnien.vn/thoi-su/tphcm-thuc-hien-cach-ly-xa-hoi-chong-covid-19-nhu-the-nao-trong-tuan-toi-1212007.html)

Contributed by an alumnus of SSP