In just the past 4 months, more than 11,000 people have died from the COVID-19 pandemic in Vietnam, according to figures released by the Ministry of Health on the evening of August 30. A day ago, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said at a meeting on epidemic prevention that Vietnam determined “to live with the epidemic as it cannot be controlled totally.”
Previously, during the 1 year and 4 months up to April 26 this year, Vietnam was highly appreciated by the international community for its good epidemic control, with a total of 2,852 infections and only 35 deaths.
However, the situation has changed dramatically since April 27, with the number of infections continuously reaching thousands of cases per day, especially in the epidemic center including Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong province and some neighboring provinces in the southern region.
The number of new infections nationwide in the past four months alone is more than 445,000, with the majority of cases recorded in the epicenter of the epidemic.
In mid-August, Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long explained at a meeting of the National Steering Committee for Disease Prevention and Control that this outbreak of widespread and prolonged disease was caused by a virus strain called delta that is capable of spreading very quickly and strongly in the air, with a shorter infection cycle than previous virus strains, thus increasing transmission in the community.
One of the leading measures among Vietnam’s efforts to control the epidemic is the application of stricter social distancing regulations by many provinces and cities in the past two months especially in the epidemic center including Ho Chi Minh City and neighboring provinces.
Particularly in Ho Chi Minh City, even tens of thousands of soldiers have been deployed since August 23 to strengthen the epidemic prevention work. Defense Minister Phan Van Giang said on the same day that “This is like a battle, you can’t win or return,” according to the state-controlled media.
However, the data shows that the overall situation is still heading for the worse. From August 1 to August 10, the number of daily infections regularly hovered around 8,000. Over the next 10 days, this number averaged 9,000. Since August 21, the number of new infections has always been higher than 10,000 per day, of which the record high day was August 27 with 17,407 people having tested positive for COVID-19.
The number of deaths has also continued to skyrocket. From April 27 to August 13, the number of deaths from the epidemic increased from 35 to 5,088. Then, in just a little more than half a month, the number more than doubled to 11,064 deaths, according to information released by the Ministry of Health on the evening of August 30.
On August 29, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, who is also the head of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 prevention and control, said during the committee’s meeting that Vietnam “sets the goal of containing and controlling the epidemic, but also determined that this war is still long, must live with the epidemic for a long time as the disease cannot be completely controlled, and the nation must adapt and have a suitable way,” according to reports in many domestic newspapers.
Just 15 days ago, on August 14, the PM himself sent out a message to launch the whole country to emulate epidemic prevention and control, in which he expressed his deep belief that Vietnam “definitely” will “soon to win” COVID-19 pandemic.
News about the meeting on August 29 of the National Steering Committee for Epidemic Prevention and Control said that out of 23 provinces and cities with social distancing at the highest level, there are 6 provinces that are controlling the epidemic, including Bac Lieu, Ben Tre, Binh Phuoc, Ca Mau, Hau Giang and Soc Trang. Four localities, Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong, Long An and Tien Giang are still in a state of “complicated situation.”
According to VOA’s observations, many residents expressed the view that only hope is to vaccinate a large percentage of the population to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
The evening bulletin of the Ministry of Health of Vietnam said that the country has injected a total of more than 19.7 million doses of vaccines, of which nearly 17.2 million people received 1 dose and more than 2.5 million people have been vaccinated twice.