How Did Vietnam and Cambodia Contain COVID-19 With Few Resources?

As the coronavirus has ravaged its way across the world, some countries in Asia have shown a remarkable ability to evade its worst effects. As of early August, Cambodia had zero deaths and Vietnam had just six recorded deaths from the coronavirus. This is in spite of these countries having far fewer resources to respond to the threat, compared to wealthy nations such as the United States and Italy, where the virus has exacted a terrible price.

Not all of Southeast Asia has been as successful in containing the virus’ spread: Both Indonesia and the Philippines register amongst the highest deaths in Asia outside of China. So why have Cambodia and Vietnam been so successful? Vietnam has recorded only 500 cases for a population of nearly 100 million (five per million) as of the end of July, while Cambodia has recorded just 15 cases per million at this point.

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