How Vietnam is getting it right

Vietnam, with a population of 96 million and a lengthy border with China, has 268 confirmed COVID-19 cases and zero associated deaths.

These figures have set off a range of reactions, from awe to dismissiveness. Many have credited warm weather with Vietnam’s numerical success, although regional nations with an even steamier climate are dealing with far larger outbreaks.

Others say the numbers are fake, as a communist government and its media cannot be trusted – just look at how China tried to cover up the initial outbreak in Wuhan.

Such responses overlook the many decisive steps that the government has taken in response to the novel coronavirus.

In particular, the Ministry of Health has conducted 180,067 tests, a moderate number per capita, but given Vietnam’s low case number, it has performed 652.4 tests per confirmed case, by far the most in the world. Taiwan is second, with 132.1 tests per confirmed case. 

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