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Vietnam bans public gatherings in battle against virus

VIETNAM banned indoor gatherings of more than 20 people today as the south-east Asian country is praised for its low-cost model in dealing with the global coronavirus pandemic.

The government also banned groups of more than 10 meeting outdoors with the country having contained the spread of the disease to just 153 cases with no reported deaths.

Vietnam, which borders China, has been praised for its efforts in containing the disease. Much of this, the government says, is down to contact tracing.

It managed to achieve this by reacting quickly to the outbreak with Vietnam’s communist government “declaring war” on the coronavirus during the Tet New Year celebrations when there were no reported cases in the country.

Vietnamese Premier Nguyen Xuan Phuc understood that it was only a matter of time before the coronavirus reached the country.

“Fighting this epidemic means fighting the enemy,” he said during a meeting of the country’s ruling Communist Party.

Despite being a relatively poor nation with a poorly resourced healthcare system, Vietnam was able to swiftly contain the coronavirus from spreading further due to contact tracing, the government said.

“The important thing is, you need to know the number of people who might have come in contact with the disease, or returned from pandemic areas, then perform tests on these people,” one senior official advising Vietnam’s Emergency Operation Centre explained.

The government said: “Every business, every citizen, every residential area must be a fortress to prevent the epidemic.”

To help keep the Vietnamese economy afloat, the government has made $1.1 billion available, but it is also calling for voluntary donations to stave off a financial crisis.

ToVietday artists put a total of 60 paintings up for auction with the proceeds going to front-line health workers.

Mr Phuc has been praised as “a national hero” for his effort in the “war on coronavirus.”

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