No other country of Vietnam’s size has achieved the same level of success in controlling this pandemic as Vietnam. That is the conclusion of the story of sharing lessons learned from Vietnam in the prevention and control of COVID-19 by the authors (experts from Harvard Medical School, Clinical Research Unit in Vietnam). of Oxford University, World Bank, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Science and Technology, Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Hanoi University of Public Health)
Vietnam’s response to COVID-19 has been exceptional, and although some of its success stems from the country’s unique context, many of the lessons from Vietnam are widely applicable, including the following:
1. Investing in public health system infrastructure (e.g., emergency operations centers and surveillance systems) will give countries a head start in managing health crises community health effectively. Vietnam has learned lessons from SARS and bird flu, and other countries can learn similar lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic.
2. Early action, from closing borders and wearing masks to testing and social distancing, will help limit community spread before it gets out of control.
3. Thorough tracing helps facilitate a targeted containment strategy.
4. Isolation based on exposure, rather than isolating only symptomatic individuals, can reduce transmission of both asymptomatic and symptomatic individuals. In particular, mandatory testing and isolation for international travelers is an effective policy.
5. Clear information is very important. A clear, consistent, and serious narrative is important during epidemic prevention.
6. A strong whole-of-society approach that engages multi-disciplinary, multi-sectoral stakeholders in decision-making and encourages engagement with relevant solutions.
With the exception of the COVID-19 outbreak in Da Nang in August 2020, Vietnam has more or less managed to contain community transmission throughout 2020, while keeping the economy open enough to facilitate GDP growth. Even the outbreak in Danang was contained quickly, using a combination of many of the best solutions the country has developed over time. No other country the size of Vietnam has achieved this level of success.