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Emerging COVID-19 Success Story: Vietnam’s Commitment to Containment

by Alisha Bhagat, Aug 17
1 minute read

While many countries around the world struggled with the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam had a reported 1,465 cases in December 2020. This success story is due to several key factors including a well-developed public health system, decisive central government, and a proactive containment strategy.

person in blue gloves and blue denim jeans

So what?

One of the reasons why Vietnam was able to keep caseloads low was due to the experience of two pandemics in recent years – SARS and Avian Flu. These crises gave Vietnam the experience and the built public health infrastructure to take rapid action on COVID-19 through contact tracing, quarantine, and communication with the public. Vietnam is a highly centralized country and decisions were made quickly at the national and local level.

Vietnam ranks 117 out of 189 countries on the UN’s Human Development Index yet outperformed more developed countries when it came to COVID-19 containment. What community health systems that worked for Vietnam can be applied to other contexts?



by Alisha Bhagat Spotted 24 signals

Alisha Bhagat is the futures lead at Forum for the Future. Her work focuses on the creative use of futures tools to impact long term positive change, particularly around social justice and equality. Alisha brings a broad toolkit to her work and designs games, creates immersive experiences, and brings the future to life. In addition to her work at Forum, Alisha is a part-time faculty member at Parsons School of Design where she teaches the Futures Studies and Speculative Design certificate. Prior to joining Forum, Alisha was a foreign policy consultant for the US government and a fellow at the East-West Center in Honolulu. Alisha holds an MS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a BS in Anthropology and History from Carnegie Mellon University. She was awarded a Fulbright scholarship in 2005. When not thinking about the future, Alisha is an avid gamer and science fiction enthusiast.

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