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How Vietnam managed to keep its coronavirus death toll at zero

Source(s):  Cable News Network (CNN)

By Nectar Gan

(CNN) When the world looked to Asia for successful examples in handling the novel coronavirus outbreak, much attention and plaudits were paid to South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

But there's one overlooked success story -- Vietnam. The country of 97 million people has not reported a single coronavirus-related death and on Saturday had just 328 confirmed cases, despite its long border with China and the millions of Chinese visitors it receives each year.

After a three-week nationwide lockdown, Vietnam lifted social distancing rules in late April. It hasn't reported any local infections for more than 40 days. Businesses and schools have reopened, and life is gradually returning to normal.

To skeptics, Vietnam's official numbers may seem too good to be true. But Guy Thwaites, an infectious disease doctor who works in one of the main hospitals designated by the Vietnamese government to treat Covid-19 patients, said the numbers matched the reality on the ground.

...

So how has Vietnam seemingly bucked the global trend and largely escaped the scourge of the coronavirus? The answer, according to public health experts, lies in a combination of factors, from the government's swift, early response to prevent its spread, to rigorous contact-tracing and quarantining and effective public communication.

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  • Publication date 30 May 2020

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