Vietnamese Community Confident in Laos Covid Response

Vietnamese community feels safe in Laos
A Vietnamese temple in downtown Vientiane (Photo: Jason Rolan)

The Vietnamese Community in Laos and China have expressed their confidence in authorities’ policies for containment of Covid-19.

VnExpress reports that Vietnamese people in both Laos and China remain confident that their host governments are up to the task of preventing the spread of Covid-19, while communities living in Cambodia are less certain.

According to the newspaper, many Vietnamese in Laos believe the Lao government can control the situation despite recent outbreaks.

The lockdown extension ordered on 5 May was seen as a quick response by Vietnamese nationals living in Vientiane, despite a Vietnamese citizen becoming the first recorded casualty of the coronavirus in Laos.

Ms. Nguyen Hoa My, a Vietnamese national living in Vientiane, told VnExpress that she feels people in Laos have a better awareness of the dangers compared to last year, with most people wearing masks and businesses ensuring workers go to work in rotating shifts.

“People in Laos seem to prefer the UK’s AstraZeneca vaccine over China’s Sinopharm,” she said, having herself been vaccinated in April.

Since the lockdown went into effect, the number of cases has been seen to decrease, while people are less skeptical about vaccines than they were in the past, according to My.

The Vietnamese government has provided Laos with USD 500,000 as well as 35 medical personnel and supplies to help the country in its fight against Covid-19.

Vietnamese in China adapt to “new normal”

Meanwhile, Vietnamese people in China are able to go about their lives in accordance with the “new normal,” after the Chinese government kept its borders closed and slowly contained the spread of the coronavirus following the emergence of the pandemic in Wuhan.

While China has seen a total of 90,944 cases and over 4,000 deaths, strict enforcement of government regulations have curbed the spread of Covid-19 in the country.

China now sees only a few new cases of the virus each day, with people in many parts of the country going about their lives as usual.

Cambodia a concern

The situation in Cambodia is more of a concern, according to one Vietnamese national interviewed.

“Instead of ordering a lockdown, the Cambodian authorities designated areas with a large number of cases as red zones with strict rules, while in other places people are allowed to go to work,” said Nguyen Kien, who lives in Phnom Penh.

Those who come into contact with Covid patients are not traced, according to Kien, who says health authorities in Cambodia are only tracing those who are taken to hospital for treatment.

He said that keeping public spaces open could be one reason why the virus is spreading so quickly in Cambodia.