Scotland calling : Vietnam

As this is released, Vietnam with a population of 97 million currently has reported under 300 Covid 19 cases and zero deaths. As an emerging economy with limited health resources in the eye of the Asian sourced Coronavirus storm, just how has Vietnam dealt with the pandemic so much more effectively than advanced western economies and what can Scotland learn? Ewan Hunter discovers more in this interview with Hanoi resident Ray McRobbie.

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15 thoughts on “Scotland calling : Vietnam

      • Well we can hardly believe what our quasi-(crazy?)-democratic UK government tells us, so what trust can we have in theirs?

        • It helps that there have been so few cases here – as explained in the video every single case is documented and the information is provided via television, the internet, text messages and more on their location, point of entry, day of entry, flight number, home district, workplace district, and where they have visited and when and for how long if they weren’t already immediately in quarantine. We are then also told about as many of their contacts as possible using a 4-tier alert system. When a bunch of tourists came in pre-lockdown and flocked to varying parts of the country separately, they were tracked down sharpish using all these measures and more.

          In another example, even though I’m on the opposite end of the country we know in particular about one long-running case in HCMC in which the public has been updated every single day about his condition while he struggles in hospital, and he may still not make it.

          And yes as mentioned in the video some data can slip through the cracks anywhere. But why would they waste time and resources making all of the above up? To answer your question, it has to be trusted because it HAS to be done this way here, or else the health system is screwed. There is no other option.

          • Thank you for taking the trouble to spell it all out. I just can’t see that level of surveillance being tolerated in a ‘free’ country, not unless the virus was near 100% fatal, but we’re told that for most people it would just be a mild flu or nothing to even notice. In the circumstances it might have been better to identify and protect the most vulnerable, e.g. the old, those with existing conditions etc. ???

    • I am an American living near Hanoi. Government of Vietnam has handled this with consistent care. The people are the economy. Take care of the people and…

  1. Hmm. In some ways comes across as an advertorial for Vietnam. We are in a similar situation here, in a neighbouring country, where we have lived since 2005.
    I will not give more details because like Vietnam, the Government here is very sensitive to criticism.
    I think Vietnam has been more thorough than here in its handling of the Covid19 crisis. However here there have only been around 1000 tests carried out. With an average life expectancy of around 65 years, the age demographic also means that there are far fewer old people to become infected and with no autopsies carried out, unsurprisingly no recorded deaths due to Covid19. There is an atmosphere of fear concerning coming forward for testing and the consequences of testing positive, namely being separated from the family, means that figures having the virus and dying from it are likely to be inaccurate.
    While I would concede that Vietnam has made a better job of handling the crisis than the UK, I think the film did not spell out clearly enough the true picture, other than saying 70% of Vietnam’s population is under 35, namely that when considering the age demographic and other cultural factors, the level of challenges facing Vietnam and the UK are very different. The point about the media was also rather telling. The media in the UK has a very important role in calling the Government to account. It often comes up short in this regard but it does have the opportunity and responsibility to do this. There is no such opportunity within Vietnam. Also the Vietnamese education system has until very recently not majored in critical thinking because people’s compliance was regarded as more important by those in authority. This has undoubtedly been a disadvantage, as Vietnam has sought to up-skill its economy.
    Overall an interesting film reflecting one person’s viewpoint.

    • Good message! You’re exactly right, it was only my viewpoint mostly and I stated that and much more through the 1hr 30min interview but of course only a portion was used. The challenges between the two countries are totally different, of course. And I stressed that it’s hard for figures to be 100% accurate.

      For me, I like to look at the simple picture and I can’t help but be impressed with how well they have done here with the resources it has – and then you compare it to the UK or the US, which theoretically have the tools to produce such a result too (give or take some numbers here or there). So then it comes down to, is that a political reason they are where they are in UK/US etc? A cultural reason? Did there really have to be so many deaths in those countries? Even 50 percent of them? 10 percent? 5 percent?

      Thanks again for the comment.

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