The 1st quarantine in Vietnam, started 17-march-2020, due to the now famous UK Expat pilot partying Buddha Bar during official lockdown…

The strategy of Vietnam to fight the Covid is to detect, quarantine and treat each and every individual suspected. The underlying to this strategy is probably acknowledging Vietnam weakness: the lack of state-of-the-art confinement rooms and weak Intensive Care Units with respiratory machinery. Not to lock the whole country as they had to do for in 2003 due to SARS, resulting in à catastrophic year for Vietnamese people and businesses.

Unfortunately starting 19-march-2020, VN ministry of health started to find itself overwhelmed, 

It all started with Steve seeing the Buddha bar opened for Saint Patrick on à Friday 14-Mar-2020. One of the rare bar, opened in town, so here we are with 300+ partygoers for this UK and Irish tradition.

Unfortunately, Steve caught the Corona Virus and on 16th, first symptoms then on 18th hospitalized. And the 2 Ascent buildings in District 2 are locked down on 19-mar-20. Is he the patient Zero, as à UK pilot traveling by profession?

Based on his declaration, the police dept go check his bar buddies 2 pilots residents in District.4. Both from different backgrounds and airlines companies are tested positive, resulting in their Goldview  Building lockdown on the same date 19-mar.

Let’s check the BB the next day, in the heart of Thao Dien expat district 2, to find the P0 or any one who could have been exposed before, during and after the Saint Patrick party on Fri-14-mar?

The search is on now targeting the BB for all the partygoers -reckoned to be circa 300pax-+ clients back 14 days from the 20-mar, since 6-mar… that’s à lot of people to check. How many will show up with the risk of being quarantined to à state-owned facility currently 1-hour away from the city in Cu Chi area. Surely out the the comfort zone of the expat villas, how many will show up and self declare to go into quarantine?

Here is the count, based on pilots declaration, the party was about 300pax, many expats as Saint Patrick is not really à Vietnamese folk.

Week 1: from 19-mar to 28-mat only 57 show up to declare they participated, resulting in all testing and only BN91, BN97 and Bn98 being Covid positive. 16 building and homes locked down, wherever there was à BB client among the 57 guests

Obviously self-declaration was not working, the government decided to step-up the pressure knowing for everyday that passes the 200+pax were spreading the disease to 3+ others per day. 

WEEK 2: starting 29-march BBar cameras, all confined buildings had to sign self-declarations, 57pax were invited to name their buddies at the St Patrick party, mobile phones operators could also share data calls on Fri-14th-march in the expat district. This explains the jumpfrom BN98 to BN120 and the 222-57= 165 additional guests showing up for testing. Resulting on 222 guests, 12 more Covid positive and 15 pending check as of 5-apr.

In his interview of the 3-apr, Dr Nguyen Tri Dung, head of the HCMC CDC Center for Disease Control, said they put à lot of effort to find out the P0 and P1 to limit infections but in front of non-collaboration by Vietnamese and expatriates, they will have to work with the embassies and consulates to enforce the Vietnamese laws on Covid19 fighting and apply the laws to foreigners the same as Vietnamese so they ‘face the consequences of not respecting the Vietnam laws’. Non-renewal of visas and deportation in some cases will follow suit.

Extract of the interview:

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