Since the beginning of the pandemic, while many other countries with typically much more advanced healthcare systems struggled to contain the Coronavirus, Vietnam defied the odds and became a bastion against the virus. The government implemented everything from contact tracing to strict lockdowns to great success; resulting in Vietnam never reaching over 100 cases a day for over a year while nations such as the United States and Italy reeled against the wave of Coronavirus. For those 13 months, the country and its people enjoyed relative ease and comfort knowing that the virus was contained in their small corner of the world.
The course was soon reversed when in June, COVID cases in Vietnam started to spike exponentially. One Vietnamese doctor, Tran Van Phuc, wrote on Facebook that “Vietnam is now officially entering the pandemic,”. His words could not have been more prophetic. Lockdowns entered a new stage and the country was on high alert. What they had avoided for all these months has finally come upon them.
So what changed? How did this country go from a case study on how to handle a virus to be a new center for its spread? Health officials point to a few reasons. First, since these outbursts of cases are centered around religious gatherings and factory workplaces, officials point to these as the problem. With months of relative safety, it seems the general populace may have eased up a bit. Secondly, health officials also point to the new Delta variant of COVID. This new Delta variant of COVID is much more transmissible than the initial Alpha variant that has been with us since the beginning. This variant has also been leading the rise in new cases and deaths globally, potentially prolonging the pandemic.
The million-dollar question on everyone’s mind: Will we continually go into lockdown whenever a new variant arises and will we ever get out of this pandemic?
Posted By Ryan Pham
Posted Jul 22nd, 2021