Covid-19 Weekly Update in Vietnam - Week 1 October, 2021

The number of COVID-19 infections fell the most tremendously in many past months. This is a very good sign, creating momentum for economic recovery and also a premise for Vietnam to gradually return to the “new normal” state.

Vietnam basically controlled the epidemic. The number of infections and deaths has decreased significantly. This result was achieved thanks to the participation of the government, people, businesses and the help of international partners. However, the Prime Minister noted that people should stay cautious because the situation is still complicated.
covid statistics vietnam week 1 Oct 2021

Central provinces such as Da Nang, Khanh Hoa, Binh Dinh,... have changed to applying Directive 19 and are gradually extending social distancing and reopening many service activities. Markets, shops, schools, beaches,... have been reopened but still ensure safety regulations on epidemic prevention.
Activities on the beach after lockdown
Activities on the beach after lockdown - Source: Bao Chinh Phu

Vietnam successfully produced the first batch of Sputnik V vaccine. The Sputnik V vaccine is developed based on the adenovirus vector. According to the results of clinical trials published in the journal "The Lancet", the Sputnik V vaccine is up to 91.6% of effectiveness. Plus, there isn't any confirmation of allergies to the vaccine after test injections.

Up to now, the whole country has injected more than 40.2 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine. The rate of the population over 18 years old who have injected at least 1 dose of vaccine is about 44%, 2 doses is approximately 12%. Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have reached nearly 100% of the population over 18 years who have received 1 dose of the vaccine, the number of full two injections in Hanoi is accounted for 23,6% and Ho Chi Minh City is accounted for about 56.2%. 

After nearly 2 months of lockdown according to Directive 16, from September 21st, Hanoi extended the social distancing with Directive 15. The City People's Committee allows the implementation of a number of activities including: outdoor activities (but there must be no gathering of more than 10 people); commercial centers (food and beverage outlets are only allowed to sell takeaways until 9:00 PM); clothing, fashion, cosmetics stores. In addition, businesses, service establishments and local people are required to strictly comply with 5K regulations, scan QR codes and implement COVID-19 prevention and control measures of the Ministry of Health. Besides, in order to maintain the anti-epidemic achievements, the "green zone" checkpoints continue to be strictly protected.

The recent F0 cases are all related to Viet Duc Hospital. Therefore, Viet Duc Hospital does not take in new patients for medical examination and treatment. Up to now, the number of positive cases at Viet Duc Hospital has reached over 30, especially related to many other provinces and cities. The responsible forces will quickly transfer 1,100 F1s relating to this new infection chain to isolation areas within the city for further supervision. At the same time, Hanoi has blocked many streets surrounding Viet Duc Hospital. Accordingly, Au Trieu, Tho Xuong, Chan Cam and Ngo Huyen streets will be temporarily blocked until further notice, except for Phu Doan Street (isolated until October 14th).
Blockade of many streets near Viet Duc Hospital
Blockade of many streets near Viet Duc Hospital - Source: Soytehanoi

The fourth COVID-19 outbreak has lasted for up to 5 months and initially there are encouraging signs of being controlled in Hanoi as well as many other provinces and cities. The capital is planning to restart tourism activities in order to soon attract tourists again. Hanoi will be focusing on quality improvements of cultural tourism destinations, heritage sites and craft villages in order to improve service quality and build brands. At the same time, the city will develop agricultural tourism, community tourism, healthcare tourism, and promote the development of MICE tourism. The Hanoi Department of Tourism also proposes the affiliates to build new, unique, attractive and specialized tourism products to create new experiences for tourists in upcoming periods.

The pandemic situation in Ho Chi Minh city has shown positive signs in the past week. The number of infections in the past 14 days decreased by 26% compared to the previous 14 days. Moreover, the rate of deaths and patients in serious condition continued to decrease significantly. Especially on September 30th, the number of deaths recorded was 96 cases, while the previous days were respectively 106, 113 and 131 cases. From the beginning of September until now, 9 localities in Ho Chi Minh City including Thu Duc city, District 7, Phu Nhan, Go Vap, Cu Chi, Nha Be, Can Gio, District 1 and Tan Binh have announced that the epidemic was substantially controlled. 
Ben Thanh Market considered to reopen for business activities
Ben Thanh Market considered to reopen for business activities - Source: VnExpress

From October 1st, Ho Chi Minh City has begined to turn into a “new normal” state. The Ho Chi Minh police dismantled all the checkpoints in the inner city and only maintained 12 main checkpoints and 39 auxiliary ones in districts bordering provinces to control people entering and leaving Ho Chi Minh City. Many production, commercial, and business activities,… are reopened, therefore, lots of roads and places become more crowded. However, the city continues controlling, adjusting the Covid-19 prevention and control measures to step by step loosen social distancing in accordance with the pandemic situation and safety assessment results of the Ministry of Health. 
The crowded street in Ho Chi Minh City on the first “new normal” day
The crowded street in Ho Chi Minh City on the first “new normal” day - Source: VnExpress

In the “new normal” state, local people will use the QR code of VNEID application and “Y Te HCM” application that show the vaccination record for circulation while waiting for the official operation of the PC-COVID app. Two groups are eligible to travel, including: F0 who have recovered from Covid-19 in less than 180 days and people who have been vaccinated at least 1 dose for 14 days after injection. On the other hand, the city is rushing to inject the 2nd dose of vaccine for all the local people over 18 years old. Currently, the rate of people who have been vaccinated in Ho Chi Minh City is nearly 100%, 56.2% of which have received two doses. 

In the context of the domestic pandemic being gradually controlled, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism and the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism have implemented policies to stimulate demand and recover tourism activities. The resumption of tourism activities is of great significance, especially for tourism businesses to gradually overcome difficulties and catch up again in the “new normal”. Besides, one of the solutions of domestic and international tourism recovery is to launch a tourism communication and stimulus campaign with the message "Vietnamese people travel within Vietnam" and "Vietnam tourism - safety and attraction".

However, the requirement is to ensure the dual goal of preventing the epidemic while recovering and developing socio-economics; harmonious combination between Covid-19 prevention and control and tourism activities. “Vietnam Safe Travel” application is considered as a breakthrough solution to ensure health and safety for tourist destinations,  service establishments and tourists themselves.
Vietnam Safe Travel application
Vietnam Safe Travel application - Source: Collective 

Currently, several localities in Vietnam are gradually opening their doors to tourists.  From September 13th, Vinh Phuc reopened a number of activities at tourist attractions, golf courses, physical training and sports facilities for local visitors, but not beyond 50% capacity. The cities of Ha Long, Mong Cai, Uong Bi and Cam Pha in Quang Ninh from September 20th to 21st have also in turn reopened a number of service and tourism activities for domestic tourists. It is expected that in the coming November and December, Quang Ninh will combine domestic tourism stimulus with attracting tourists from other provinces. Besides, the other tourism destinations such as Nha Trang (Khanh Hoa), Hoi An (Quang Nam), Da Lat (Lam Dong) are planning to welcome domestic tourists from provinces and cities that have controlled the Covid-19 epidemic and fully vaccinned tourists. 
Ha Long Bay scenery
Ha Long Bay - Source: Collective

Stay in touch with Mr Linh’s Adventures for more weekly updates on Vietnam’s pandemic and tourism situation

* Source: Báo VnExpress, Báo Thanh Niên, Báo Giao Thông, Báo Tiền Phong, HCDC, Tổng Cục Du Lịch Việt Nam, Thông tấn xã Việt Nam

Published on 4th October, 2021
Written by Lan Anh and Ngoc Hien, Interns at  Mr Linh’s Adventures

Previous weeks updates:
- Week 4, September 2021
- Week 3, September 2021

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