Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on April 01 officially declared COVID-19 a national epidemic as the infection cases rose to over 200 in 25 out of 63 provinces and cities across Viet Nam. The Government has classified the COVID-19 as a "Class A infectious disease" of global emergency that can transmit from human to human through respiratory system, thus the epidemic prevention and control work shall be carried out in accordance with the Law on Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases. Under the Law, Class A infectious diseases include extremely dangerous infectious diseases that can transmit in a rapid and widespread manner with a high fatality rate.
Demanded the highest focus from the whole political system as it is the “decisive” time in the fight against the epidemic, in the interest of the public health, 31 March Vietnamese Prime Minister has decided, for the next 15 days, from 00:00 01 April 2020, rigorous social distancing is to be implemented nationwide on the basis of isolation between families, villages, communes, districts, and provinces. People working in manufacturing facilities and factories must exercise physical distancing, wear masks, conduct disinfection in compliance with the regulations. All people are requested to stay at home and should only leave their houses for essential purposes such as purchase of foodstuff and medicine, emergency, working at factories, manufacturing facilities, and businesses supplying essential goods and services (excluding those already closed or had their operation suspended) and other cases of emergency. All people are to strictly maintain a minimum distance of 2 meters when engaging in in-person communication, and not gather into more than 2 persons in public spaces that are not within the confines of workplaces, schools, and hospitals. In general, public transportation of persons will be suspended. Movement from one region to another shall be minimized. Traveling from the infected areas to other localities will be suspended, with the exception of special cases, including travelling for official purpose, supplying of food and necessities, transport of workers and experts of businesses, and transport of manufacturing inputs.
As one of the first countries to be affected by COVID-19 due to the thousands-kilometer border with China, since the first outbreak of coronavirus in Wuhan City, Vietnam has considered “the epidemic fight as one against the enemy” and put the life and health of the people on the top priority. The whole of government implemented many syncronized measures, urgently with high determination at all levels of authorities and people.
Despite limited resources, Vietnam has implemented early measures to prevent the spread and timely treatment of infected people with the motto "4-on-sites": on-site isolation and treatment; on-site facilities, equipment, medicines, protective equipment; on-site funding and on-site manpower.
Vietnam focused on identifying sources of infection to localize, monitor and surveil groups of people directly and indirectly contacting with the source of infection. The above groups are concentratedly quarantined in compulsory isolation facilities and at home. These groups are subject to be tested to identify infected people and send them to medical facilities for treatment. Up to now, Vietnam has tested about 50,000 suspected cases, quarantined about 80,000 people, of which about more than half are quarantined in concentrated isolation facilities, which are funded entirely by the Government for the isolated people in 14 days. The remainders were monitored at home isolation.
Vietnam recorded the first cases of COVID-19 on January 22, who were both from Wuhan City, China. By February 16, all 16 patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus recovered. After 22 days without any infected person, on March 6, the 17th patient was discovered to be a Vietnamese returning from England after a trip to Europe via Italy and France just as COVID-19 was breaking out there. Vietnam has entered the second phase of the battle against the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic, with a series of new daily cases, many of whom are from the epidemic region. COVID-19 was spreading in the community, Vietnam entered third phase of the battle against the COVID-19 epidemic with the Prime Minister's directive issued on March 31, 2020. In the spirit of drastically preventing the COVID-19 epidemic, on April 1, at the Government meeting, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc emphasized "in the coming time, there must be more drastic action in the next 15-20 days or within a month to prevent the severe epidemic outbreak in Vietnam”.
On April 4, 3 more COVID-19 infection cases were confirmed, bringing the patient totally to 240. 2 American and 3 Vietnamese have become the latest patients cleared of the COVID-19, raising total number of recovered patients to 90. The remaining patients are being treated at 22 medical facilities, most of whom were in stable health condition, and no casualty until now. 4 severely ill patients’ health were improving.