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Vietnam stays mindful of economic impacts in Covid-19 fight
Ngoc Mai 18:34, 2020/08/04
The lockdown scale to contain Covid-19 outbreak should depend on the size of the Covid-19 cluster, said a senior government official.

The Vietnamese government remains mindful of the scale of lockdown to contain the Covid-19 outbreak so that disruption to economic activities can be avoided, Mai Tien Dung, minister-chairman of the Government Office, said at a monthly government press briefing on August 3.

 Minister-Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung. Photo: VGP. 

Dung said since the first local coronavirus infection was identified in Danang, local authorities have locked down three hospitals, as well as residential areas and restaurants nearby.

Additionally, all people coming in and out of these Covid-19 clusters have also been put under quarantine.

The lockdown scale should depend on the size of the Covid-19 cluster, Dung stressed, adding this comes from experience of many countries in both containing the Covid-19 and boosting economic growth at the same time.

Dung referred to a lesson from Singapore that when 99% of Covid-19 cases were detected in worker dormitories, the government still imposed a nationwide lockdown, which cost the country around SGD100 billion (US$72 billion).

The question is whether isolating worker dormitories was sufficient in that case, Dung stated.

Vietnam imposed social distancing orders in three weeks in April to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, causing its economic growth just 0.36% year-on-year in the second quarter this year. The local economy expanded 1.81% in the Junuary-June period.

Amid the fresh coronavirus outbreaks in Danang and a dozen of other localities, the government has said it will manange to avoid an economic contraction this year.

Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan has said the toughest measures need to be taken to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in Danang.

Nhan added the city could apply the method used in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the local authorities ordered everyone to stay at home and only one family member was allowed to go out and buy groceries once per day.

However, when the Covid-19 pandemic intensified, Wuhan authorities banned people from going out completely and delivered basic necessities to each house.

Nhan also said as some quarantine zones in Danang have been overloaded, people should be isolated at home. Regarding this suggestion, Vice Minister of Health Truong Quoc Cuong said the ministry is preparing to issue a guidance on home quarantine.

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