Citizens show strong support for Government's COVID-19 containment policies: survey

December 09, 2020 - 18:50
About 83 per cent of respondents assessed that the financial support was distributed in a timely manner, while 85 per cent thought the application procedures for the financial support were simple.


Street vendors who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic are among Government aid package receivers. — VNS Photo Việt Thanh

HÀ NỘI — The Government’s relief package of VNĐ62 trillion (US$2.6 billion) for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic has been largely considered appropriate, timely and well-targeted, a citizens’ survey released on Tuesday revealed.

About 83 per cent of respondents assessed that the financial support was distributed in a timely manner, while 85 per cent thought the application procedures for the financial support were simple.

The report, conducted by the Australian government’s Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Mekong Development Research Institute in September, interviewed 1,335 respondents in 63 provinces and cities about the Government’s response to the pandemic in Việt Nam.

All of those surveyed were from various backgrounds and randomly selected from the 2019 Provincial Governance and Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI) sample.

Respondents showed strong support for the national lockdown in April and closely followed social distancing measures. About 88 per cent of them thought the Government had imposed the social distancing order in April in a timely manner while nearly 90 per cent said they followed the order.

Some 8.8 per cent of the respondents said the social distancing order was imposed early. Most of those people were unskilled workers, non-farm workers and poor people, who were the hardest hit by the pandemic during the lockdown, said Dr Nguyễn Việt Cường, deputy head of the Mekong Development Research Institute.

About 89 per cent of those interviewed supported the Government’s strong measures and priority for saving lives, even if the economy will sustain more damage and recover slowly. That consensus level was higher than the average global rate of 67 per cent.

More than 96 per cent of respondents rated the response from the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control as good or very good, while nearly 94 per cent had the same rating for their provincial governments’ responses.

Researchers from the Mekong Development Research Institute said it was very important to provide support to the most affected people, since people with job and income losses are less likely to support the Government’s response and those receiving aid are more likely to agree to the Government’s response.

They emphasised the importance of improving the quality of governance and public administration, which can increase confidence and trust from citizens in the Government, and subsequently their support for the Government during the pandemic.

David Gottlieb, economic and development co-operation counsellor from the Australian Embassy in Việt Nam, said: “I have been extremely impressed by Việt Nam’s determination to control COVID-19 this year. But it isn’t my impressions that really matter for public policy. It is the impressions of the people for whom those policies are designed that matter. This survey shows clearly that the commitment to contain the pandemic is shared throughout the whole community - this is a testament to the efforts of all of those involved.”

At the report launching ceremony on Tuesday, UNDP Resident Representative Caitlin Wiesen praised Việt Nam’s successful response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It largely depended on swift and effective Government action combined with the trust and willingness of citizens to comply with the Government’s preventive and protective measures. I believe that lessons learnt from this success in terms of transparency, accountability and social cohesion will help the Government deal with future crises and address the key challenges that citizens have highlighted as top concerns over the past four years - poverty, environment and corruption in PAPI reports”. — VNS