Our country’s position in this pandemic is still unclear. Everyone is waiting for the palace to announce its plans to combat COVID and whether or not we will have another extended quarantine for some areas. But alas, we still have nothing reliable to hear from the government. All hope is not lost, though. There are countries recovering well with their fight against this disease.
While the government fails to give us steps toward any solution, we can look towards other nations to see what we can learn from their best practices.
A short disclaimer before you keep reading. COVID numbers will never be 100% precise with actual real-world numbers as there are undocumented and untested COVID cases.
There are countries doing well in their fight against the virus, especially the first world countries. As much as we’d love to be on par with Singapore or Korea’s crisis management response, we simply do not have the resources to do so at the moment. But this shouldn’t stop us from moving forward with possible solutions. Just beside us sits one of the most successful countries fighting against COVID, and they’re also a third world country. This is Vietnam. It is a country with roughly the same size as us and happens to be bordering China. It’s easy to call out Vietnam’s success as fake and manufactured by the government for propaganda. But we can be assured this is not the case as Vietnam has conducted mass testing.
Quarantine has been lifted in Vietnam for weeks now and no government will lift it without the certainty of the virus being adequately contained. Vietnam has had no more than 300 COVID cases at a time. The early crisis response is to thank for this outcome. Travel bans and restrictions were implemented from the beginning. Quarantine protocols were executed for anyone who entered the country and contact tracing was constantly upheld.
Apart from these strict and swift responses, the Vietnamese government made tracking easier by working with tech companies to create a mobile app for citizens to report their health quickly and conveniently. This could help ease the Philippines’ case tracking considering its current incompetence in mass testing.
Thailand is also introducing a contact-tracing app for similar reasons. Speaking of Thailand, although it may still have 117 active cases as of writing, it has managed to flatten the curve. This is from the country with the most visited city in the world. Thailand has restricted any gatherings of over ten people anywhere at any time. They implemented a strict liquor ban along with shutting down of all establishments. This is similar to the Philippines’ restrictions. Granted, Thailand and the Philippines have many different circumstances, but if they can do it, we can do it too.