Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam has been seen as a bright spot as the country made firm steps to combat COVID-19 and experience economic recovery over the past year, entering the “new normal” period.

The country confirmed the first cases of COVID-19 in late January 2020 when the Lunar New Year was approaching and imposed social distancing last April and July.

In an urgent meeting convened by the Ministry of Health last January, the entire political system embarked on the fight against the pandemic. The government then held meetings continuously to put forth relevant strategies and decisions.

As the situation got worse, Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong called on Vietnamese at home and abroad to join anti-pandemic efforts, which saw a response from the State President, the entire Party, people and army.

Nguyen Trong Khoa, Deputy Director of the ministry’s Department for Medical Examination and Treatment, who had been present at pandemic clusters in Vinh Phuc, Binh Thuan and Da Nang, said Vietnam achieved a lot from a worrying beginning.

When the pandemic spread globally, Vietnam was at risk of becoming a “hot spot” as the country borders China where the coronavirus was first detected. However, Vietnam has taken firm steps against the pandemic, even issuing warnings higher than those by the World Health Organisation (WHO), he said.

According to Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long, since Vietnam registered the first cases of COVID-19, the country has employed drastic measures to prevent pandemic penetration and transmission.

All-level Party Committees, the Government, ministries, agencies and citizens have shown high resolve and consensus during the pandemic struggle.
COVID-19: Vietnam turns risks into opportunities hinh anh 1Employees at Noi Bai International Airport are equipped with protective suits against COVID-19 in March 2020. (Photo: VNA)

Vietnam restricted and then stopped receiving passengers from foreign countries and conducted quarantine and large-scale contact tracing.

A bright spot on the global map
Amidst the raging pandemic, Vietnam has been seen as a bright spot on the global map. The country has been praised by foreign media as an example in the pandemic combat.

Thanks to such drastic measures, COVID-19 infections and deaths in Vietnam are lower than those in many other countries in the world.

As of the morning of January 23, Vietnam recorded 1,548 COVID-19 cases, with 693 domestic infections and 35 deaths. Meanwhile, the pandemic has hit 219 countries and territories worldwide, with 98 million infections and 2.1 million fatalities.
COVID-19: Vietnam turns risks into opportunities hinh anh 2Vietnamese citizens return home after completing COVID-19 quarantine in Hoa Binh province in March 2020. (Photo: VNA)

Vietnam is among the very few countries that can maintain socio-economic activities with positive GDP growth, while the global economy is in a serious slowdown due to the impact of the pandemic.

Kidong Park, WHO Chief Representative to Vietnam, said thanks to efforts of the Vietnamese Party and Government, as well as the consensus of the Vietnamese people, the country is able to maintain normal activities.
COVID-19: Vietnam turns risks into opportunities hinh anh 3A COVID-19 check-point in My Quy Tay commune, Duc Hue district, Long An province. (Photo: VNA)

Minister Long said soldiers and health workers are working on the frontline of the pandemic combat.
Many flights have been launched to bring home students and labourers from pandemic-hit areas in line with the Prime Minister’s message of leaving no one behind in the COVID-19 fight.

“Lighthouse” in COVID-19 combat
The pandemic is still in complex developments across the world. In the first two weeks of January 2021, a total of 9.7 million cases and 174,000 deaths were reported globally.

On January 20, the WHO announced that the new coronavirus variant that was first found in the UK has been detected in at least 60 countries and territories, while another variant from South Africa has been discovered in 23 countries and territories.

With joint efforts by the Party and people, Vietnam has been seen as a “lighthouse” in the COVID-19 fight, and a “bright spot” of economic growth.

The country has also cooperated and shared experience in pandemic containment with the international community while striving to adapt to the “new normal.”/.