As the U.S. government’s incompetence is put on full display by the COVID-19 crisis, many are rightfully looking to other countries around the world for an alternative to the disastrous profit-first approach of the Trump administration.
The Socialist Republic of Vietnam has stood out as one such example of how to effectively respond to the pandemic. Vietnam, which shares a border with China and is about 1,200 miles from where the outbreak was first reported in Wuhan, has overcome steep odds in the global fight against COVID-19. As of April 6, the Vietnamese government has reported 245 confirmed cases with 95 recoveries and no fatalities.
The country’s response to the outbreak has received international recognition, including from the World Health Organization and World Economic Forum, for its comprehensive, low-cost model of disease prevention. WHO representative in Vietnam, Dr. Ki Dong Park, attests the government “has always been proactive and prepared for necessary actions.”
The Communist Party of Vietnam has strengthened its anti-pandemic measures by implementing nationwide social distancing rules, such as banning outside gatherings of more than two people while keeping a distance of 6.5 feet, and temporary shutdowns of “non-essential” businesses, including restaurants, entertainment centers and tourist sites.
Supermarkets and other essential services remain open, but are instructed to safeguard customers’ health by checking their temperatures before entering the building and providing them with hand sanitizers. In addition, the government has warned against panic buying and has taken action against businesses engaged in price gouging. To ensure social security for affected workers, Vietnam has approved a 111.55 million dollar financial support package that includes covering all costs for workers in quarantine or are recovering from the disease.
Unlike the U.S. capitalist class and the Trump administration, the Vietnamese government took early measures to combat the current coronavirus epidemic. Officials began preparing strategies to combat the outbreak immediately after the first cases emerged in China.
On February 1, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc signed Decision No.173.QD-TTG, categorizing the virus as a Class A contagious disease “that can transmit very rapidly and spread widely with high mortality rates.” This declaration of a national emergency came after the sixth case of coronavirus in the country was reported. In contrast, the Trump administration only declared a national emergency over the global pandemic on March 13, when there were at least 1,920 confirmed cases across 46 states.