German newspaper: Vietnamese government put people's health ahead economic benefits

German newspaper Neues Deutschland published an article on November 28 by Julia Behrens highlighting the fact that the Vietnamese government has put the health of the people ahead economic benefits in its COVID-19 fight.

Close to 360 Vietnamese citizens were brought home from the United States on a Vietnam Airlines flight as part of collective efforts by competent authorities of both sides from November 30 – December 1. Source: VNA

Accordingly, Vietnam has had no community infection cases of COVID-19 to report over the past three months, and that all new cases were imported. Clubs are open, major events are taking place, conferences are held face to face, market activity is unbroken, everyday life is almost the same as ever, the newspaper said.

It quoted Thirumalaisamy P. Velavan, Professor at the University Hospital Tübingen and Director of the Vietnamese-German Center for Medical Research (VG-CARE) in Hanoi, as saying that the rapid response to the novel coronavirus was decisive to the success of Vietnam.

Vietnam responded comprehensively and quickly to the pandemic, he said. From the beginning of the outbreak, the government has traced people in contact with infected persons, ordered compulsory quarantine and efficiently mobilized state institutions into the response efforts.

There was an immediate order for people to wear face masks, along with guidelines for hygiene measures, safe distancing and four-tier quarantine, he added.

According to Velavan, the Vietnamese government has prioritised people over economic benefits. The Vietnamese economy had also been severely affected by the pandemic, especially the tourism sector. Economic growth has declined, but remains positive.

The article also quoted Dong Huy Cuong from the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations, as saying that the government's clear strategy and the willingness of the people to stick to the strategy are crucial to Vietnam’s fight against COVID-19.

Cuong also emphasised the government's success in communications, which was transparent and understandable for everyone, so that the people have realised that the measures were carried out for their own protection.

Vietnam confirmed seven more imported COVID-19 cases from 6pm on December 1 to 6pm on December 2, reported the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

During an earlier meeting held on December 1, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc consented to suspend commercial international routes whilst only running flights carrying home Vietnamese citizens that are able to meet specific requirements.

He therefore directed the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Public Security to closely manage the border along with entry-exit activities.