UNDP: Vietnam moves toward safely living with COVID-19 hinh anh 1Patrick Haverman, Deputy Resident Representative of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Vietnam at the review with the Vietnam News Agency (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - Countries around the world are moving from living in zero COVID-19 to living safely with it and Vietnam is no exception, said Patrick Haverman, Deputy Resident Representative of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Vietnam.

In a recent interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency, he said that the first priority of Vietnam is the health of the people. And with the vaccination rates increasing, the country is slowly opening up its economy.

Mentioning the response to the pandemic, he emphasised the need for a more flexible approach, including shorter lockdowns, shorter quarantine periods, and acceleration of vaccinations.

He commented the Government of Vietnam for its vaccination diplomacy, saying it is amazing how fast people in the country get vaccinated against the coronavirus disease.

“We have seen priorities and how the older and more vulnerable should have a priority for getting vaccination. And with that response, there could be slightly opening up of the economy very carefully,” he noted.

According to Patrick Haverman the UNDP recently launched two reports on the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable households in Vietnam and the implementation of the second support package of the Government for people affected by COVID-19.

Vietnam can support growth, employment and incomes with a larger cash assistance programme for vulnerable households without fear of inflation or a negative impact on the balance of payments.

To achieve the twin objectives of supporting vulnerable households and stimulating economic growth, the cash assistance programme should be launched as quickly as possible. The quickest way to deliver this support is to provide an immediate benefit to children under 6 years old; pregnant women; elderly people from 60 years of age, including elderly people from 80 years of age that are beneficiaries of regular cash assistance programmes without pensions; and people with disabilities.

Administrative requirements should be kept to a minimum, and an electronic register of individuals should be compiled listing households and individuals who have received support.

Regarding Vietnam's reopening in the coming time, the UNDP representative said the Government of Vietnam is doing good and vaccination is really important.

To reopen, vaccination should be the first priority, he said, adding that Vietnam should impose a bit more flexible lockdowns, meaning not locking down the whole city.

These are important conditions for Vietnam to slowly open and promote its economy with the assistance of social protection programmes, he stated.

“So we think the country is on the right track. We have seen it is slowly opening up. And with that, the Vietnamese economy can come like a growing again. So we hope for a good recovery of the economy,” he concluded./.