The Guardian lauds Vietnam’s COVID-19 containment efforts

Update: 20:48 | 15/06/2020
The UK news outlet the Guardian has recently published an article in which it praises the achievements of Southeast Asian nations, including Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand, for their success in the battle against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
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Volunteers hand out free face masks to people along a street in Can Tho. (Photo: EVN Genco 3)

According to the prestigious news publication, the majority of Southeast Asia appeared on the brink of a major COVID-19 breakout just months ago due to the outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan escalating out of control at the worst possible time as Chinese tourists usually flock to hotels and resorts across the region in the buildup to the Lunar New Year.

Thailand was described as being particularly vulnerable due to the large number of travelers it had been receiving from Wuhan, resulting in the neighboring country has the second-highest number of cases outside of China by the end of January.

As footage began to circulate online of panic gripping Wuhan hospitals and local residents collapsing in the streets, health experts pondered the question of how countries with far weaker health systems would be able to cope.

Israel admires Vietnam for COVID-19 combat success

Israel admires Vietnam for COVID-19 combat success

At present, the virus has gone on to cause plenty of deaths and misery across Southeast Asia, particularly in the Philippines, Indonesia, and in the living accommodation of migrant workers in Singapore, where officials are struggling to control outbreaks. But elsewhere throughout the region, the worst fears have largely been avoided.

Thailand has recorded a total of 58 deaths, while Malaysia is confirmed to have suffered 120 fatalities. Vietnam, which has won great praise for its swift response, has not recorded a single death.

Dale Fisher, professor at the National University of Singapore and Chair of the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network at the World Health Organization, underscored the importance of public awareness, which has ultimately been a key factor in the success that many countries have enjoyed, adding that clear, coherent messaging is essential.

“When you have a country with weak leadership then people get confused. They’re not sure what to do or who to believe, and then you legitimize ignorance,” said Fisher.

Experts state that by acting swiftly and drawing on well-established systems put in place following the SARS epidemic in 2002, health departments in many Southeast Asian countries have avoided explosions of community transmissions as seen elsewhere.

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(Source: VOV)