USAID Responds to Coronavirus in Vietnam

Speeches Shim

Friday, February 14, 2020

Coronavirus (now called 2019-nCoV) began spreading in central China in December 2019 and has now been confirmed in 16 persons in Vietnam (as of February 13*), all of whom had traveled in China or were in close contact with those who had. The U.S. Mission has taken a very proactive approach to support prevention and personal protection. USAID is actively engaged in these activities, and works closely with its implementing partner World Health Organization and the United State’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to coordinate efforts in developing guidelines, providing technical support, and supplementing emergency supplies and equipment. USAID also organized a public screening of a new Netflix documentary, Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak, filmed partly in Vietnam in 2019. Dr. Dennis Carroll, who until recently was the Director of USAID’s Emerging Threats Unit (now retired), was one of the key narrators in the documentary. Dr. Carroll attended the February 7 public screening in Hanoi to add context, further narrative, and lead a Q&A session. This documentary, although focused on influenza and filmed before the 2019-nCoV outbreak, is particularly timely in demonstrating the challenges and responses required in a major respiratory epidemic following a viral spillover from animals to humans.

So What? USAID has supported Vietnam for more than 10 years to build capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to emerging pandemic threats. The timely and strong response of the Government of Vietnam to the 2019-nCoV threat demonstrates the impact of USAID capacity building efforts. 

(*For up-to-date information, please see 2019-nCoV Global Cases by John Hopkins CSSE