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Vietnam Declared Safe Despite Covid-19
21 February 2020 | Written by Chris Alexander

Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism has confirmed that Vietnam remains a safe and attractive destination for international travel amid the global Covid-19 outbreak. The minister made the statement on Tuesday (18/2) during a reception in Hanoi for the Chief Representative of the UNESCO Office in Vietnam.

The minister’s statements were based on the latest figures, which note that Vietnam has not reported any new cases of Covid-19 in over four days, suggesting that the virus is under control and poses no major threat to international visitors.

The meeting was originally scheduled to mark Vietnam’s reception of a new UNESCO certificate, honouring the nation’s Tay, Nung and Thai ethnic people, added to the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in December 2019. The official recognition ceremony will take place in September at the UNESCO office in Hanoi.

The UNESCO official praised Vietnam’s efforts in preserving cultures according to UNESCO’s Cultural Conventions, and confirmed that UNESCO’s Hanoi office will work alongside the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in promoting and preserving heritage in accordance with the nation’s stated aims of developing sustainable tourism in tandem with creative and cultural industries.

According to the latest information from the World Health Organization (WHO) situation report, dated 19th February 2020, Vietnam has recorded just 16 confirmed cases of Covid-19 (previously known as coronavirus), with no new cases and no deaths resultant from the virus. By 25th February, each of the 16 people known to have been infected by the novel coronavirus had made a full recovery.

Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam says Vietnam has won round one in the fight against coronavirus, and reiterates his country’s determination to remain vigilant:

“With all modesty and eagerness to learn, Vietnam has so far controlled the Covid-19 epidemic well,” said the deputy PM at a recent meeting to discuss measures for controlling and containing the virus.

Vietnam has tightened its screening processes in recent weeks, in an effort to guarantee the safety of visitors. Starting 1st February, Vietnam suspended all flights to and from China and stopped granting tourist visas to Chinese nationals from affected areas. After South Korea raised its alert to the ‘highest level,’ the Vietnamese government tightened controls on arrivals from that country too, with quarantines imposed in some cases.

The WHO has commended Vietnam’s response to Covid-19, stating that measures taken from the very outset had effectively prevented the spread of the virus.

 (note: this article was updated on 27th February to include the latest statements from Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister)