Update: 14:09 | 10/12/2020
Vietnamese strongly supported the government's national social distancing order imposed in April to contain Covid-19, according to a recent report.
The report, issued Tuesday by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Mekong Development Research Institute (MDRI), surveyed 1,335 Vietnamese in September for their opinions and experiences of the government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
People stand two meters apart from each other per social distancing measures to collect free rice in Hanoi, April 14, 2020.
Respondents showed strong support for the government’s national social distancing order imposed in April, with 88 percent praising its appropriate timing. A total 39 percent said they followed the social distancing order, while 12.2 percent either somewhat followed or disobeyed it.
A total 89 percent of respondents said they supported the government’s stance and measures to save as many lives as possible, even if it means the economy might recover more slowly. The percentage is much higher than the global average, with only 67 percent of citizens agreeing the government should prioritize saving lives over economic recovery, according to the report.
Vietnam entered a three-week period of nationwide social distancing in April to stem a wave of Covid-19 community transmissions. Citizens were requested to stay home, only going out to buy food, medicine and for other emergencies.
But during another outbreak in late July and August, to reduce impacts on the economy, the government did not resort to large-scale social restrictions, only applying them in certain areas considered Covid-19 hotspots.
The country has recorded 1,377 Covid-19 cases so far, 115 still active. Thirty-five have succumbed to the disease, many being elderly patients with underlying conditions like diabetes or kidney failure.
Vietnam’s three-month streak of no community transmissions was broken late last month when a 28-year-old Vietnam Airlines flight attendant broke quarantine rules to contract the virus from a colleague, and then spread it to three other people. The country has gone about a week without new infections.