The article outlines how Europe is currently facing a COVID-19 resurgence, with outbreaks occurring in the UK, Spain, and France, with each country reporting thousands of new cases daily.
Most notably, the present infection rate now stands higher compared to March and April across many countries, following restrictions being significantly eased over the summer.
Due to this, many areas have been forced to re-introduce varying levels of restrictions, although most countries are resisting implementing nationwide lockdowns.
The article states that in order to deal with the second wave of COVID, the various Governments of European countries could potential study the success enjoyed by several Southeast Asian countries, such as Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia.
Although there may have been an undercounting of cases and deaths, this doesn’t detract from the overwhelming success that these nations have enjoyed.
The Australian news outlet notes that Vietnam’s total number of cases stands at just 1,113, an extremely low figure for a population of approximately 100 million. One tactic used by health authorities has been targeted testing, which focuses testing efforts on high-risk individuals, along with on buildings and neighbourhoods that have had confirmed cases.
The article also highlights the early preventive measures implemented by Vietnamese health authorities, including extensive contact tracing, aiming to identify those at risk of exposure regardless of symptoms displayed.
Vietnam has also set up quarantine facilities for infected people and international travelers, therefore minimising the potential spread of COVID-19.
The article describes that having gained experience from the SARS and avian flu epidemics, many Asian countries immediately took the threat of COVID-19 seriously.
Furthermore, many countries also implemented strict measures such as wearing face masks and imposing social distancing early. Targeted testing, education, and the participation of the community are critical in successfully responding to COVID-19, the article concludes.