While it is said that the outbreak has derailed Vietnam’s diplomatic ambitions, the door remains open for Hanoi to transfer its domestic success in fighting the disease into diplomatic achievements. As a testament to this early success, the U.S. Center for Diseases Control (CDC) decided to take Vietnam off the list of countries with the risk of community spread of the virus.For example, the provincial authority was allowed to lock down villages and communes following advisory notices from the Ministry of Health. Since the first cases emerged, there were only five instances of large-scale lockdowns. State media have also constantly covered the hotspots of the pandemic like China, Italy, Spain, and the United States to raise public awareness about the seriousness of COVID-19 and to demonstrate the essential of robust government intervention. The ACC welcomed the timely and effective measures of member countries, healthcare cooperation, and ASEAN agencies to share information and experience in preventing, diagnosing, treating, and controlling the disease. Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh proposed pursuing a balanced approach in fighting the epidemic and maintaining open economic policies, while ensuring regular updates were made available to the public.
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