COVID-19 in Vietnam, update 8th May 2020

17 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Vietnam yesterday evening, bringing the country’s total patient tally to 288.

All of these are Vietnamese returning from the United Arab Emirates, and were all quarantined upon arrival, so there’s no risk of community spread that we know of at the moment.

Meanwhile, Vietnam has so far gone 22 days without recording a new case of COVID-19 that’s been transmitted locally within the community. In a government meeting yesterday, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc acknowledged that the risk of a new COVID-19 wave is low nationwide and allowed non-essential businesses to reopen.

17 new COVID-19 cases, all imported

Medical staff are deployed at international airports to monitor all arrivals
Image credit: Van Don International Airport

The 17 new patients were passengers on Vietnam Airlines’ flight VN0088, which landed in Vietnam on 3rd May, bringing 297 citizens home from the United Arab Emirates.

All 297 passengers were quarantined and tested upon arrival, and 17 tests came back positive yesterday. These 17 are now receiving treatment at a medical facility in the southern province of Bạc Liêu, and the remaining 280 will continue to stay in quarantine for further monitoring.

Since Vietnam has been taking steps to bring overseas citizens back from COVID-stricken countries, we’ll likely see more imported cases in the coming weeks. However, all arrivals will be closely monitored to avoid community transmission.

With the newest statistics, Vietnam now has a total of 288 COVID-19 patients since the beginning of the outbreak, 233 of whom have recovered.

Vietnam reopens non-essential businesses

Non-essential businesses such as cinemas will be allowed to reopen
(Photo for illustration purposes only)
Image credit: Hương Nguyễn Thu

With the COVID-19 situation under control in Vietnam, the government is moving to the next stage of restoring the economy, which has taken a severe hit due to the outbreak. Non-essential businesses such as cinemas, swimming pools, internet cafes – which have been forced to shut down since the second half of Marchwill be allowed to reopen. Karaokes and nightclubs, however, will still have to remain closed for the time being.

The decision was made in a government meeting yesterday. Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc also emphasized that these businesses must carry out precautions such as requesting staff and customers to wear masks and providing them with hand sanitizers.

Public transport will also resume operation domestically starting today, but all passengers are required to wear masks.

Things are returning to normal, but we still need to stay alert

The nationwide social distancing campaign that has been in place since last month has proven to be a major success, contributing a major part to Vietnam’s outstanding performance in containing the COVID-19 pandemic. With restaurants, entertainment facilities, and public transport now all allowed to reopen, we hope it’s only a matter of time before our lives return to normal.

However, COVID-19 remains a major global threat with millions infected around the world. Therefore, it is crucial that we stay alert and adhere to the government’s request to wear masks in public for the time-being.

For more COVID-19 stories, check out:

Cover image adapted from: Van Don International Airport, Hương Nguyễn Thu

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