Covid Situation Update

Vietnam’s efforts to contain Covid-19 have been hailed as a global success. The country went almost two months without local infections, but that ended on January 28 when a new outbreak jolted the country, just ahead of the Tet lunar new year holiday when many people travel home to see their families. AmCham invites members to join a virtual briefing on Monday morning with infectious disease expert Dr. Todd Pollack for an update on the current situation and what it means for mobility, business activity, and the important upcoming Tet holiday.

The outbreak, centered in the northern provinces of Quang Ninh and Hai Duong, is the largest in Vietnam since the country reported its first cases of the disease a year ago. A major concern is that the outbreak is reported to be from the more contagious UK variant of the coronavirus. Health officials have conducted aggressive contact tracing as well as targeted testing and lockdowns since the new wave started. Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, who is chief of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, said that the outbreak will be suppressed by the end of this week. We certainly hope so.

About the guest speaker:

Dr. Todd Pollack is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, an Infectious Diseases specialist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Country Director of the Partnership for Health Advancement in Vietnam which is a Harvard University program with a mission to improve healthcare in Vietnam.

He received his MD from Temple University School of Medicine and completed a residency and chief residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For more than ten years, Dr. Pollack has worked to strengthen the capacity of the public health system in Vietnam. He serves as technical advisor to the Vietnam Ministry of Health in the areas of HIV, infectious diseases, and medical education. His work is supported by grants from the US CDC and USAID and he was awarded a grant last year to prepare health workers and hospitals in Vietnam for the COVID-19 pandemic.

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