Covid-19: Current situation in Vietnam

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published on 10 March 2020 | reading time approx. 2 minutes

 

Vietnam, like many other countries in the region, celebrates the New Year as the change of the lunar year (the “Chinese New Year” is called “Tet” in Vietnam). The first Covid-19 cases have arisen during the Tet festival and thus occurred during the peak travel season of the Vietnamese.

 

Overview of the health and administrative status

With the outbreak of the virus in China and the lockdown of Wuhan, Vietnam immediately and without delay cut all connections (air and land routes) to the northern part of the country. Schools and universities were closed and (as of 11 March 2020) have not yet reopened.

 
As of 3 February, there were 16 cases of Covid 19 in Vietnam, all recovering. Since 2 March, the number of infected has climbed to 30 (as of 9 March). The newly infected all have a travel history with Europe, or have had contact with persons with a corresponding travel history. As of 9 March, all connections to China, South Korea, Iran and Italy have been cut off. Travelers entering the country have to provide their travel history. It is officially considered not to allow any more visitors from Europe to enter the country; the current status should be checked before the start of the trip.

 
Travelers from the above mentioned countries who still enter the country will be subject to a 14 day quarantine, calculated from the time they leave a risk area. For these quarantines, army bases in North, Central and South Vietnam were converted. There are no official figures on the current occupancy rate of these bases.
Masks and disinfectants are still available in most pharmacies and supermarkets.
 

Daily life goes on

Vietnam has not come to a standstill. Daily life continues to take place, the population feels mostly safe due to the rather quick action of the government. There has been no panic buying so far. Initial uncertainties have subsided and working life (with the exception of schools and universities) continues as usual. This is also due to the regularly quick reaction of the government, which has mobilised large parts of the army to fight the virus efficiently. For example, the army disinfects entire streets and areas at regular intervals.
 

Economic effects

China is - although not officially - the country's most important trading partner. Goods and services from China are currently missing in many areas. The transport of goods (air and sea) has been suspended or deliveries are held in customs warehouses.

 
Tourism is struggling; Chinese, South Koreans and Japanese account for a large proportion of the sector's turnover. The tourists who are already in Vietnam tend to avoid restaurants and public buildings. If the crisis leads to Vietnam's exclusion of other countries, shortages of general economic goods must be assumed. In this respect, the exclusion of Japan, the USA and the European Union would have previously unclear economic consequences. 

 

Labour law and Home Office

There are currently no nationwide labour law requirements for the employer to close offices or production lines or order home office. Apart from closed schools, no significant closures are known. Public authorities are opened. Occasionally, employers send travelers into the home office from risk areas, but these are not regular incidents.
 

Conclusion

There are currently 30 cases of Covid 19 in Vietnam; travelers from China, South Korea, Italy and Iran are excluded from entry. The government reacts quickly and vehemently to changing circumstances. Further cases are not excluded due to regional circumstances.

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