COVID-19 in Vietnam, update on 29th May

With no new COVID-19 cases reported in the past 24 hours, Vietnam is now on its 43rd day staying clear of new infections in the community. The total number of patients remains at 327.

Still, despite having the pandemic under control, the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control in a meeting yesterday stressed the importance of continuing to keep a close eye on overseas arrivals and agreed not to reopen international tourism for the time being.

No new COVID-19 cases

Image credit: Bệnh Viện Sản Nhi Quảng Ninh

Vietnam’s total COVID-19 patient tally is still sitting at 327 from our last update yesterday, as no new cases have been discovered since then.

The latest case of community transmission in the country was reported on 16th April, involving a 16-year-old girl of the Mông ethnicity living in a rural village near the Chinese border. Since then, all new COVID-19 cases in Vietnam have been citizens on government-facilitated flights returning from countries still affected by the virus. All of them have been quarantined upon landing, with no risk of spreading the virus.

So far, 278 patients have recovered, and 49 are still receiving treatment. No fatalities associated with the coronavirus has been reported in Vietnam to date.

Vietnam to continue to closely monitor overseas arrivals

Vietnamese returning from overseas will continue to be closely monitored
Image credit: Vân Đồn International Airport

According to a report from the Vietnam Government Portal, the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control held a meeting yesterday to discuss the next move for Vietnam going forward.

At the meeting, officials asserted that while Vietnam has done a good job of containing COVID-19 within its borders, the pandemic is still developing globally. With Vietnam making moves to bring back citizens stranded in countries affected by the virus, the threat of new infection still remains high.

“If we let even one case enter without timely detection, it could lead to another outbreak in the community. Therefore, we need to continue to closely monitor all people entering,” Deputy Minister of Health Nguyễn Thanh Long was quoted to say.

Agreeing with Mr. Long, representatives of the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Public Security also suggested continuing to carry out measures to quarantine and monitor overseas arrivals.

Since late March, Vietnam has been suspending entry for all people coming from other countries, except for Vietnamese living abroad brought back as part of the government’s program to repatriate citizens from COVID-stricken countries and high-skilled foreign workers whose entries are approved by relevant authorities. All arrivals are subjected to a mandatory 14-day quarantine period upon landing.

Reopening of international tourism not discussed yet

Phú Quốc Island off the southern coast of Vietnam, a major tourist destination of the country
Image credit: @_jun.lth

Regarding the resume of international tourism activities in Vietnam, members of the Committee agreed not to open borders for foreign visitors for the time being. The meeting did not discuss a timeframe for the reopening of international tourism.

The Committee also reached a consensus that international tourism activities should only be carried out when “conditions are met”, which the report did not elaborate on. Initial suggestions around the matter include only accepting tourists from countries that have responded well to the COVID-19 pandemic and testing the waters by first opening some islands off the coastal areas of Vietnam to tourists.

Vietnam’s COVID-19 update on 29th May

While Vietnam has been showing signs of reopening its borders, namely allowing e-visa applications and proposing the resume of certain international air routes, it seems it’ll be a while longer before foreign visitors can enjoy the country’s stunning scenery, amazing food, and rich culture.

Still, it is reasonable for the government to put safety first, so for now, let’s all continue to exert caution and practice preventive measures.

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Cover image adapted from: Bệnh Viện Sản Nhi Quảng Ninh, Vân Đồn International Airport

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