International experts and media have been trying to explain Vietnam’s extraordinary success in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vietnam has gone more than 70 days with no new community transmissions, almost all of its COVID-19 patients have recovered, and there has not been a single COVID-19 death in Vietnam. The truth refutes those who try to deny Vietnam’s achievements.
Most international media use phrases like “amazing Vietnam” and “role model” to describe Vietnam's successful battle against COVID-19, but there are a few who want to deny Vietnam’s undeniable achievements.
A tweet posted by Professor Steve Hanke of John Hopkins University on June 10 named Vietnam among a list of countries that "do not report COVID-19 data”, rejecting the statistics reported by worldometers.info.
Former BBC reporter Bill Hayton criticized Vietnam’s epidemic measures as a restriction of human rights.
The opinions of the American professor and the BBC reporter are at odds with those of international organizations who have direct access to information in Vietnam.
|The WHO and CDC praise Vietnam's transparency in handling the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: WHO/VNA)
Making public up-to-date information about the COVID-19 pandemic was one of the factors in Vietnam’s success. The World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say Vietnam has been transparent in its handling of the pandemic. CDC Director in Southeast Asia John MacArthur affirms there is no evidence that the numbers reported by Vietnam are not accurate. He said transparency and political determination are what made Vietnam a role model in fighting the disease.
The website Eastasiaforum.org said Vietnam has kept the public informed through TV news and text messages sent to mobile phones.
Germany’s Der Spiegel said the Vietnamese Health Ministry has sent daily messages to all mobile phone subscribers and used public loudspeakers to keep people informed about preventive measures to protect themselves.
David Hutt, a Southeast Asia columnist with The Diplomat, said the Vietnamese Party and State have been open in sharing up-to-date COVID-19 information, have acted responsibly, and have made public health their top priority.
The government’s quick, firm actions to control the epidemic and threat infected individuals have made people feel that they are protected and no one will be left behind. A global survey in May by Singapore’s Blackbox Research found that 94% of respondents said transparent information about the pandemic increased their trust in the government.
Mark Ashwill, an educator who has lived in Vietnam for 15 years, called Bill Hayton’s criticism of Vietnam’s preventive measures a distortion by someone who knows nothing about Vietnam in 2020. Ashwill said that before discussing Vietnam’s epidemic prevention policy, Bill Hayton should have read an article in The Diplomat, which attributed Vietnam’s successful control of COVID-19 to its social cohesiveness and ability to mobilize resources quickly.
The Nation said Vietnam achieved the most effective response to COVID-19 through rapid mobilization of its health care system, public employees, and security forces, combined with an effective and creative public education campaign.
Eastasiaforum.org said the military and the police inspired public cooperation by empathizing with them in the fight against the pandemic.
These assessments were borne out by statistics from daliaresearch.com in Berlin which showed that Vietnam has the highest percentage of people who say they believe in their government’s epidemic prevention policy.
A survey by YouGov, a British market research and data analytics firm, showed that Vietnam has had the best public response to the epidemic and that 95% of its citizens are happy with the government’s public health policies.
Facts and figures posted by widely-respected media outlets refute the few skeptical or unfriendly denials of Vietnam’s successful fight against the COVID-19 epidemicVOVWorld