Coping with Covid-19, A priority in cooperation between India-VietNam

ameya sathaye
By ameya sathaye October 16, 2021 20:49

Coping with Covid-19, A priority in cooperation  between India-VietNam


India and Vietnam are about to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the establishment of a comprehensive strategic partnership, which is Vietnam’s highest level of diplomatic relations. The two sides have helped each other in critical times of Covid-19 in term of supporting essential medical materials  and medicines. Cooperation in coping with Covid-19 is an important driving force in relations between India and Vietnam.

The Delta variant with faster infect, more dangerously has made the pandemic prevention achievements of all countries in the world severely affected and adversely affected the prospect of world economic recovery.

According to the latest projections released by the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday (12/10), the global economy is projected to grow 5.9 percent in 2021 and 4.9 percent in 2022, 0.1 percentage point lower for 2021 than in the July forecast. Rapid spread of Delta and the threat of new variants have increased uncertainty about how soon the pandemic can be overcome.

During the Covid-19 wave caused by Delta variant, developing countries are the hardest hit due to limited health systems and low vaccination rates.

Vietnam was successful  in the fight against Covid-19 in 2020 and early 2021 with just over 3000 cases and 35 deaths. However, from the end of April to the beginning of May 2021, the number of cases and the mortality also has increased  rapidly. From the middle of August, the daily active cases has reached more than 10,000 with around 300 deaths.The center of the pandemic is Ho Chi Minh City and other southern provinces.

Measures of Vietnamese Government coping with Covid-19

Vaccine diplomacy campaign: recognising the importance of Vaccines Covid-19 in preventing the pandemic, the Vietnamese government has issued and effectively implemented a vaccine diplomacy campaign to get as many vaccines as possible and as soon as possible. In all talks, conferences and high-level contacts, top leaders of Vietnam requested other countries to sell, donate, and give covid-19 vaccines to Vietnam.

All Covid-19 vaccines given to Vietnamese people are free of charge. The government prioritizes vaccination for a number of target groups, such as:  the poor, social policy beneficiaries; employees, employee’s relatives working in enterprises and essential services like accommodation, catering, banking, healthcare, pharmacy, medical supplies, v.v.

The Vietnamese government decided to make communes a fortress against the pandemic, and the people were the center and subject of the fight against the pandemic. Communes are the places closest to the people, understand the people and their situation. At the same time, the  government strengthened mobile medical stations and increased the number of health workers in communes.

Ensure food security for the people with free food bags and provide a phone number so that people who are hungry can call to get food.

Since the end of September until now, the daily active cases have continuously decreased to 3000 with less than 100 mortality. Travelling and economic activities have returned to normalcy but still strictly follow the regulations on 5K (mask, social distancing, non gathering, sanitizing,  khử khuẩn, health – report)and technology-supporters. Economic packages have been introduced to support businesses includingdebt rescheduling, interest rate reduction, land rent reduction, cash support for unemployed workers, and accelerated disbursement of public investment etc. On 11 October 2021, the government issued regulations “safe, flexible adaptation and effective control of the Covid-19”, in which people’s health and lives is the first priority and the movement of goods is without any restrictions, striving for the dual target.

Despite being affected by Covid-19, Vietnam’s economy has many positive signs. In the first 9 months of this year, the total export and import turnover of goods still maintained a high growth rate, reaching USD 483.17 billion, a rise of 24.4% over the same period last year, of which exports increased by 18.8%; imports increased by 30.5%. Total foreign investment capital into Vietnam as of September 20, 2021 reached 22 .15 billion USD, an increase of 4.4% over the same period last year.

Vietnam gets India’s help in dealing with Covid-19

In the course of dealing with Covid-19 over the past time, Vietnam has received support from many countries, both materially and spiritually, including India. India had provided 100 metric tonnes of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) and 300 oxygen concentrators to Vietnam to help the Asian country in its battle against covid-19. India companies also have supplied many special drugs to treat Covid-19 for Vietnam such as Remdesivir. Previously, when India was affected by the second wave of Covid-19 in April-June 2021, Vietnam had provided India with more than 200 ventilators, 300 oxygen concentrators, 1,300 oxygen tanks and 50,000 masks

Although the situation in Vietnam is under control, it may re-emerge because the vaccination rate is not large enough and there may be other variations. Therefore, it is necessary to further promote cooperation in the prevention of covid-19 between Vietnam and India.

India is the largest provider of generic drugs globally. The Indian pharmaceutical sector supplies over 50 % of global demand for various vaccines, 40 % of generic demand in the US and 25 % of all medicine in the UK. Globally, India ranks 3rd in terms of pharmaceutical production by volume and 14th by value. About 70% of the vaccines used around the world for extended immunisation programmes are made in India.

India has responded very effectively to Covid-19 with an impressive vaccination rate and a strong economic recovery. India has restarted exporting Covid-19 vaccines for 4 countries Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Iran. India need to prioritise vaccines for other friends and partner, in cluding Vietnam. In addition, the two sides can cooperate in testing vaccines and transfer vaccine production technology in Vietnam.

Cooperation in the field of health is one of the breakthroughs in the relationship between the two countries in the coming time. The two sides need to actualize mutual of undersanding between the health ministries of the two countries, reached at the virtual summit between the two countries’ prime ministers in December 2020. India and Vietnam are about to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the establishment of a comprehensive strategic partnership  and 50 years of establishing diplomatic relations (07/01/1972 – 07/01/2022). Thus, cooperation in the prevention of covid-19, production of vaccines and medicines for covid-19 and general non-traditional security issues such as epidemics and maritime security will mark these important anniversaries and the two sides continue to affirm as important factors in ensuring peace, stability and development in the region./.

ameya sathaye
By ameya sathaye October 16, 2021 20:49