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Oxford study finds Vietnam best-placed nation to ease social distancing

/ 12:26 PM April 26, 2020

A busy road in HCM City on April 23. Life is gradually getting back to normality in the country’s economic hub after the social distancing policy was eased from April 23. Bảo Hoa/Viet Nam News/Asia News Network

HANOI — A new study by University of Oxford academics has found Vietnam is the country best positioned to relax social distancing measures.

The country allowed some non-essential businesses in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to reopen earlier this week, along with other moves to relax some COVID-19 prevention and control measures.

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The study includes a broad range of countries, with some like the UK under lockdown and others like Việt Nam employing social distancing.

The researchers at the world-renowned British university used the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker to determine which countries were most ready to ease social distancing measures, based on four of the World Health Organization’s six recommendations for doing so.

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Of the six recommendations, data on measures to avoid the spread of the coronavirus in the workplace and data on “high-vulnerability settings” wasn’t available, leading the researchers to caution that “the data provides a better indication of what countries are not ready”.

Nevertheless, they wrote the study “does provide for a rough comparison across nations”, with Vietnam on top due to its strong control of coronavirus transmission, its test, trace and isolate measures, and management of imported cases.

Việt Nam did slightly less well in terms of community engagement in COVID-19 prevention efforts based on public information campaigns and mobility data from Apple and Google but still scored highly.

Notably, Việt Nam outranked several considerably more economically developed nations on the list, including the UK, which ranked fourth from bottom.

To date, the Southeast Asian nation has recorded 268 COVID-19 cases, with 225 of those patients successfully treated and no deaths.

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TAGS: Coronavirus, coronavirus outbreak, coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19, Oxford University, social distancing, Vietnam
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