How has Vietnam, a developing nation in South-East Asia, done so well to combat COVID-19?

By Max Walden

Posted 3hhours ago

A woman serves beer at a bar and restaurant in Hanoi.
Vietnamese authorities eased many restrictions on April 22.(Reuters: Kham)

Key points:

  • Despite sharing a border with China, Vietnam has reported less than 300 cases
  • Experts believe that Vietnamese coronavirus caseload statistics are accurate
  • Success has been attributed to aggressive testing, contact tracing and public messaging

While cases of COVID-19 shoot up in wealthy Singapore and the disease continues on a worrying trend elsewhere in South-East Asia, Vietnam is an unlikely outlier.

By late April, the country had conducted more than 260,000 tests — 2,691 per million of population.

Many tests were administered to people who were at a high risk of exposure, such as those at markets in Hanoi.”

By late April, the country had conducted more than 260,000 tests — 2,691 per million of population.

Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume. 00:0202:04The Maher family camped out on their high-rise balcony in Vietnam

‘Staying home is loving your country’

Vietnam’s famous propaganda machine was meanwhile mobilised to encourage positive habits such as using hand sanitiser, which was made readily available.

The Government made wearing masks outside compulsory on March 16, with harsh penalties for those not complying.

“It has become a matter of patriotism to wash one’s hands and stay home — a message that has been successfully communicated through various forms of popular art and propaganda about COVID-19,” Dr Le Thu said.

Slogans have included “staying home is loving your country”, “social distancing is a form of patriotism”, and “the virus is your enemy”.

Jealous Coronavirus” music video from Vietnamese Health Dept. w/ English subtitles

Nikki Châu Ngọc Trân

Hi everyone. I came across the video and liked it so much, I translated the lyrics into English and add as subtitles. The original video is here:…. My English translation is here. Vietnamese original text is below. I took some tiny creative license with the translation to make the text flow in English, such as “fight coronavirus” instead of “push back coronavirus”. VIDEO CONTEXT: Ghen means jealous. Cô Vy appears to be a word play on Covid. Cô means lady. Vy is a common Vietnamese name. The video is portraying the virus as someone who’s trying to come between a couple. At the beginning of the video the couple was fighting and at the end they came together. And yes, the video does perpetuate gender roles. (This song is based on another song the same musicians made:…) TRANSLATED TEXT: “‘Ghen Cô Vy’ is creation of the Vietnamese Institute of Occupational and Environmental Health, in collaboration with musicians Khac Hung, Min, and Erik. Through this project, we aim to empower and strengthen trust in the community, so that we can join hands to combat COVID-19 (aka nCoV-2019). In this critical moment of fighting the virus, we hope the song will ignite our spirits and reduce stress for the frontline fighters of this war: the team of experts, physicians, health workers and millions of other workers who are in the frontline of exposure and daily struggle with this disease. Let our community take the initiative in implementing preventive habits as recommended by health experts, and let us spread goodness and kindness to win the disease together.” CREDITS: Producer: Institute of Occupational and Environmental Health Music & Lyrics: Khắc Hưng Singer: Min x Erik Visual: Yang Animation Artist