by Paul Kennedy
Việt Nam response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been nothing short of perfect, according to a survey of our readers.
In an online questionnaire, we asked more than 200 people how they thought the country has handled the threat of the coronavirus. They included locals, expats and foreign tourists in Việt Nam.
|Doctors of Chợ Rẫy hospital in HCM City visit the most critically ill COVID-19 patient in Việt Nam, Scotsman Stephen Cameron. He is recovering well and expected to return to his home country on July 12. Photo courtesy of Chợ Rẫy hospital.
An overwhelming majority strongly agreed Việt Nam, its authorities, frontline workers and the community as a whole has battled the virus well, reflecting the amazing results seen since the first case was recorded in January.
Last night, the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control said there have been no new cases of coronavirus in Việt Nam.
There are currently just 20 people nationwide being treated for the disease, with 335 out of the 355 total cases making a full recovery.
Việt Nam News editor-in-chief, Trịnh Thanh Thủy, said: “We as journalists obviously have to be impartial when it comes to reporting the news.
“But we wanted to gauge a response to better understand how well Việt Nam has coped with COVID-19 and what better way to do that than to ask our readers for their opinions.”
Our week-long survey gave a series of statements regarding how well the country has handled the threat and what next in terms of travel, tourism and business.
A staggering 84.2 per cent of readers strongly agreed Việt Nam has dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic in a positive way with 14.3 per cent of those surveyed agreed with the statement.
Just a small fraction, 1.5 per cent of all those questioned, answered with a neutral response.
More than half of those people questioned (51.7 per cent) felt Việt Nam is now a more promising destination for business and investment while just under half (46.8 per cent) felt the country is now a more attractive destination for tourists.
But when it came to deciding when Việt Nam should reopen its borders to international visitors, opinion was much more divided.
It seems our readers believe safety must come first, and the best course of action would be to gradually allow international visitors but only based on the current coronavirus situation in the country those people are coming from.
We asked whether the country should open up as soon as possible to boost tourism, but most people surveyed said no, with 33.5 per cent disagreeing and 18.2 per cent strongly disagreeing.
Instead, almost half of those surveyed (47.8 per cent) agreed that the best course of action to take would be a gradual reopening of borders in line with how well other countries have dealt with the pandemic.
We also suggested the country has done enough to help foreigners stuck in Việt Nam on tourist visas and 70.9 per cent of those surveyed either agreed (32.5 per cent), or strongly agreed (38.4 per cent).
The excellent work carried out by our frontline medical professionals was also appreciated, with 77.3 per cent of readers saying they now have greater faith in the local health care system.
One of the tougher measures introduced during the pandemic was social distancing, when the Government restricted people’s movements nationwide to find the virus.
But despite its tough stance, an overwhelming 90.1 per cent of readers agreed (39.9 per cent) or strongly agreed (50.2 per cent) that social distancing instructions and regulations were clear and easy to follow.
There have been allegations made that some foreigners living in Việt Nam have felt discriminated against during the past five months, but more than half of our readers (52.3 per cent) did not think this was the case.
“I would like to thank all those people who took the time to respond to our survey,” our editor-in-chief added.
“I hope we can all work together to continue to not only deal with the threat of COVID-19, but also to help the country get back on its feet after the pandemic.” — VNS