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Title: Rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic: Vietnam government’s experience and preliminary success
Authors: Thao, Tran Thi Phuong
Ha, Le Thanh
Phuong, Nguyen Thi Ngoc
Minh, Hoang Van
Keywords: COVID-19
Issue Date: 2020
Series/Report no.: Journal of Global Health;pp. 1 - 14
Abstract: Background The COVID-19 pandemic has hit all corners of the world, challenging governments to act promptly in controlling the spread of the pandemic. Due to limited resources and inferior technological capacities, developing countries including Vietnam have faced many challenges in combating the pandemic. Since the first cases were detected on 23 January 2020, Vietnam has undergone a 3-month fierce battle to control the outbreak with stringent measures from the government to mitigate the adverse impacts. In this study, we aim to give insights into the Vietnamese government’s progress during the first three months of the outbreak. Additionally, we relatively compare Vietnam’s response with that of other Southeast Asia countries to deliver a clear and comprehensive view on disease control strategies. Methods The data on the number of COVID-19 confirmed and recovered cases in Vietnam was obtained from the Dashboard for COVID-19 statistics of the Ministry of Health ( The review on Vietnam’s country-level responses was conducted by searching for relevant government documents issued on the online database ‘Vietnam Laws Repository’ (, with the grey literature on Google and relevant official websites. A stringency index of government policies and the countries’ respective numbers of confirmed cases of nine Southeast Asian countries were adapted from the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker ( All data was updated as of 24 April 2020. Results Preliminary positive results have been achieved given that the nation confirmed no new community-transmitted cases since 16 April and zero COVID-19 – related deaths throughout the 3-month pandemic period. To date, the pandemic has been successfully controlled thanks to the Vietnamese government’s prompt, proactive and decisive responses including mobilization of the health care systems, security forces, economic policies, along with a creative and effective communication campaign corresponding with crucial milestones of the epidemic’s progression. Conclusions Vietnam could be one of the role models in pandemic control for low-resource settings. As the pandemic is still ongoing in an unpredictable trajectory, disease control measures should continue to be put in place in the foreseeable short term.
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