As the country starts to emerge from lockdown, the impact it has had on the economy is becoming clearer.
Vietnam has spent more than $1.32 billion from the state budget on fighting the novel coronavirus, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19.
Where did the money go?
Of this, the Ministry of Health received around VND21.2 trillion, which it used to purchase vaccines, build ICUs and treat patients. The Ministry of Public Security received VND1.4 trillion, and the Ministry of National Defense received VND2.7 trillion, the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 said Sunday.
Around VND5.2 trillion was distributed to localities with complex pandemic situations, including Ho Chi Minh City, Dong Nai, Binh Duong and Hai Duong, all major industrial hubs, local media reported.
137,000 tons of rice from the national reserve has been distributed to 31 localities to ensure food security during the pandemic. Several businesses and organizations, both inside and outside of Vietnam, and foreign governments have also provided thousands of ventilators, masks, test kits and other tools and equipment for the coronavirus fight.
Around 300,000 personnel from medical, military and police forces have been dispatched throughout the country. Of these, 20,000 were health workers, 133,000 were military personnel and 126,000 were with the police force.
Is the impact of the pandemic as bad as expected?
No-one knew how the pandemic would affect the economy so all predictions were full of uncertainty.
The Steering Committee said Vietnam has gone through four coronavirus waves since last year of increasing scale, complication and infectivity. So far, the country has recorded more than 867,000 infections and 21,269 deaths.
“The quickly escalating outbreaks within a short period of time have overloaded the medical system and increased death rates, especially in Ho Chi Minh City and some southern Vietnam localities,” the committee said in its report, adding that Vietnam’s high population density and vaccine shortage have added to the troubles.
For now, Covid-19 has been placed under relative control. In former coronavirus hotspots like Ho Chi Minh City or Binh Duong, the number of new infections and deaths have also dropped dramatically, though they are “at a high level” still. Covid-19 cases still lurk within communities, posing risks of further outbreaks, the committee cautioned.
According to the report, Vietnam has vaccinated around 45.3 million people with at least one Covid-19 vaccine shots. Around 18.2 million people have been fully vaccinated, the VNExpress reported.