COVID-19 Update: February 2021

Vietnam experienced a spike in COVID cases in late January/early February 2021. As at 1st March, the country had 2,461 confirmed cases, 1892 recoveries and 35 deaths. Nearly 2 million tests have been performed.

In early February, as a result of extensive field travel by Hagar Vietnam staff, all staff were identified as F2 (those who have been in contact with someone who was in contact with a positive person) or F3 (one step removed). Hagar Vietnam staff were required to remain at home social distancing until all F1s had received at least two negative tests. All F1’s were cleared and staff were able to return to the office however due to the number of positive cases in the communities where Hagar works, staff are currently unable to travel to visit clients in person. Instead, staff are providing services online to clients.

Hagar has continued to provide food assistance to clients in need. Staff have encouraged these clients to register for government assistance.

COVID-19 Update: December

In Vietnam, Christmas isn’t an official public holiday and sometimes Christmas Eve is more important than Christmas day. However, there are still many Christmas trees and light displays in the major cities and carols, markets and meals are enjoyed! Due to COVID however there may be no concert outside the cathedral in Hanoi which is a much enjoyed celebration.

As at 13th of December, Vietnam has had 1397 confirmed cases, 1241 recoveries and 35 deaths. More than 1.3 million tests have been performed. Recently, there have been 4 cases of community transmission in Ho Chi Minh and a consequent increase in social distancing has followed here.

Hagar’s programmes continue to operate as normal and staff continue to walk the long-term recovery journey with survivors as well as practically supporting those in need as a result of COVID. Hagar Vietnam’s COVID interventions in two provinces (distributing personal protection kits and the establishment of hand washing stations in 8 schools) continue to be used.

The Hagar Vietnam team are very busy as the end of the year concludes. They are travelling a lot to try and complete 11 months worth of training sessions with other organisations into 7 months in addition to providing direct support to survivors.

COVID-19 Update: November

As at 10th of November, Vietnam reported 1226 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 1087 people having recovered and 35 deaths. There have been no new deaths since the October update, international travel restrictions remain largely the same and only a limited number of people are now wearing masks.

Since the October update however Hagar clients, who have been impacted by COVID-19 and are living in central Vietnam, have now also had to deal with the worst flooding in Vietnam’s recent history. For the first time ever, the government of Vietnam declared a Category IV flood warning and to date:

– 278 people are dead and 66 are missing

-7200 hectares of agricultural crops are submerged and 691,000 cattle and chickens have been lost

-Property damage is estimated to equal US $1.46 trillion

Hagar staff have connected with our clients living in affected areas and at the time of writing, none of them have been seriously affected. Hagar staff continue to be in contact with them.

COVID-19 Update: October

As of 11 October 2020, Vietnam recorded 1,109 confirmed COVID-19 cases. More than 90% have since recovered from the infection. Total death toll stands at 35. More than a million tests have been performed; to date, Da Nang remains the most affected city with 394 confirmed cases and 31 deaths.

International travel restrictions have undergone significant changes over the last 1.5 months; more countries have opened their borders to travellers from Vietnam but subject to those who present a negative swab test result. Travellers from Vietnam entering the United Kingdom are amongst those countries that are no longer required to quarantine upon arrival. Overall, the international travel situation is improving in Vietnam and the country continues to exercise caution and safety in all of their measures.

In the past month, funding from UNTF has enabled Hagar Vietnam to conduct six community COVID prevention events. Higher rates of domestic violence were reported in Vietnam due to quarantine measures, social distancing procedures and travel restrictions.  These community events highlighted the importance of COVID prevention efforts and ways to combat gender-based violence.

On the ground, Hagar Vietnam continues to provide direct assistance to clients and vulnerable individuals in these different ways:

  • 350 personal COVID prevention kits were distributed;
  • 18 Hagar clients who were economically distressed received emergency assistance;
  • All Hagar clients were assisted and gained access to assistance packages from the Government of Vietnam;
  • Handwashing stations at six target kindergartens and primary schools in Nghe An Yen Bai provinces were built to increase protection of young children.

Clients and survivors living in central and southern Vietnam who are already impacted by COVID-19 have experienced further challenges, due to severe flooding in early October 2020. Tropical storm Nangka swept across Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Case managers are closely monitoring their situation, assessing and responding to the emergency assistance needs of clients and ex-clients.

Travel restrictions to the provinces have eased over the past month. With the resumption of training activities, Hagar is closely monitoring staff well-being as significant travel to the provinces is needed for some key staff.

COVID-19 Update: September

As of 17 September 2020, Vietnam has recorded 1,066 COVID-19 cases and 35 fatalities. 940 people have since recovered from the infection and a million tests have been performed on suspected cases.

Hải Dương city was isolated by the Government of Vietnam for 15 days after four residents were tested positive; none of whom had travel history to Da Nang. On the same day, the Ministry of Health announced that Ho Chi Minh City had one new case of COVID-19 – a Chinese man who crossed the northern border illegally into Vietnam. Since May, 152 confirmed COVID-19 case were due to illegal entry into the City; Chinese people accounted for 72%, Cambodians 11%, and the rest were Vietnamese and Korean. This raises concerns about an outbreak from people who entered illegally into the city area. On 30 August, Vietnam recorded its first day without new cases since beginning of the second outbreak. 

Previously identified as the most affected city with 394 confirmed cases and 31 deaths, social distancing restrictions in Da Nang have started to ease after the central government considered that the COVID-19 outbreak has been brought under control. All passenger transportation and business enterprises have resumed operations. 180 bars and discos in Ho Chi Minh City have also become active again after more than a month of inactivity to prevent coronavirus.

In the wake of the pandemic, Hagar Vietnam continues to provide emergency assistance and additional counselling support to existing and former clients as needs are identified. A number of key meetings for Nghe An and Yen Bai partners in Hanoi, had to be rescheduled.

In Hanoi, the request for mandatory mask wearing is not being implemented by all citizens. Journalist interviews identified that many citizens feel the Government has controlled the pandemic as much as possible to date, have strong response mechanisms established and they do not feel that they are in danger.

COVID-19 Update: August 4th

On July 22nd, after 99 days of no new COVID cases being recorded, a new spike of infections commenced in Vietnam. This new spike occurred in Da Nang city, where at least 80,000 people were holidaying when the first case in the new wave was announced. Since then:

  • The Government has implemented strict social distancing regulations in this province
  • Anybody who was in Da Nang and who has since returned home, has been asked to register with the Ministry of Health and provide a full list of places they visited in Da Nang to assist in contact tracing. Anybody who lives in Da Nang, or who has recently returned from there, now also must wear a mask
  • In Da Nang, all flights in and out have been cancelled as has their public transport. In Da Nang, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh and other selected provinces non-essential services have been asked to close
  • Streets in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, where people who have tested positive have lived or worked, are being quarantined

Most of Hagar Vietnam’s clients live in the north of Vietnam in less affected communities however this spike in infection is concerning for them and the country as a whole. Hagar continues to provide counselling and emergency assistance as required to those clients who are impacted.

Some Hagar Vietnam staff have had to practice social distancing after either being in Da Nang or being in contact with someone who has. The team have received funding from UNTF to run a community event in Nghe An province which reinforced COVID preventative measures and arrange sanitation stations at selected schools as well.

 Due to the new spike however, several other events that the Hagar team had scheduled have had to be postponed including a life-skills training session with clients and capacity development for our partners in Nghe An and Yen Bai regions. These delays have an ongoing impact on staff stress levels due to the work plan for August to December being very busy. The Senior Leadership team are closely tracking staff well-being.

As of the 5th of August, Vietnam has recorded 652 confirmed cases with 858 suspected cases waiting to be confirmed.

COVID-19 Update: June 12th 2020

We received the following update from Carol Mortensen, Executive Director of Hagar Vietnam, this week:

“The COVID-19 pandemic in Vietnam is part of the ongoing worldwide pandemic. Vietnam’s first known case was reported on 23 January 2020 and as at 12 June 2020, the country had:

  • 332 confirmed cases
  • 321 recoveries, and
  • 0 deaths
  • Hanoi remains the most-affected city
  • More than 275,000 tests have been performed.

Vietnam suspended the entry of all foreigners from 22 March 2020 until further notice, except for diplomats, officials, foreign investors, experts, and skilled workers. Any foreigner who entered the country before 1 March is entitled to visa extensions till 30 June, but must present health declarations. Vietnam is cited by global media as having one of the best-organised epidemic control programs in the world, along with Taiwan, South Korea and New Zealand. Several figures have praised Vietnam’s response, comparing it to the success in 2003 when Vietnam became the first country to be cleared of the SARS outbreak.

In general:

  • The mood in Vietnam is generally one of pride, that the Government responded appropriately and in time, to mitigate the impact, however while transmission rates have ceased to identify new cases of COVID-19, few people think that further waves may take place, especially when borders re-open. This is an impressive outcome, given that Vietnam shares an approximately 1,444 km border with China, and many migrants and human trafficking victims return from China every month.
  • Clients are generally feeling more settled than previously. Hagar is continuing to respond to the needs of those requiring psycho-social counselling and emergency assistance arising from COVID-19, as well as our on-going projects.
  • The one change to Hagar’s program is that through the UNTF (United Nations Trust Fund), we received approval to utilize USD 12,000 for COVID responses in targeted Nghe An and Yen Bai primary and secondary schools. Funds will be utilized to establish washing stands, including a well, and strengthen hygiene and sanitation knowledge and standards of school children, teachers, and school leadership. These activities will begin immediately.”


COVID-19 Update: May 15th 2020

As of May the 14th, there have been 288 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Vietnam. 252 patients have fully recovered and no deaths. More than 261,000 tests have been performed.

The Government has relaxed social-distancing rules and has allowed the resumption of non-essential services including bars as long as they maintain preventative measures. Since our last update, schools have reopened (every child in Vietnam is now back at school for the first time since February 1st!), as have several tourist destinations. Public bus transport has now resumed as normal and domestic flights can carry 100% passengers instead of 80%. Masks continue to be recommended, but are no longer mandatory and are not worn widely now.

As a result, Hagar staff have been able to start travelling to provinces to meet with clients and conduct field assessments again. While Hagar staff were able to return to the office several weeks ago, they were unable to travel due to the restrictions and still had to conduct meetings and sessions with clients over the phone. However, 100% of Hagar Vietnam’s operations are now running again and a big area of focus going forward will be helping existing and former clients find new economic opportunities.


COVID-19 Update: April 30th 2020

As at Tuesday, the 28th of April, there were 270 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Vietnam. 222 of these cases have recovered and so far there have been no deaths. More than 213,000 tests have been performed. 

Hanoi continues to be the most impacted city and some provinces in Vietnam have continued their mandate that no visitors from Hanoi are allowed to enter their province. However, Nghe An and Yen Bai provinces (where Hagar delivers economic empowerment, prevention and capacity building projects) have informed Hagar Vietnam that staff can begin to visit as of next week, pending no new infections are confirmed. 

It is still mandatory to wear a mask whenever you go outside but some of the social distancing rules have also been relaxed in Vietnam this week. Some restaurants and businesses have opened and Hagar Vietnam staff have returned to working from the Hagar office. Bars, massage parlors, sidewalk cafes and religious gatherings remain forbidden but there is talk that high schools may be able to open soon. 

Hagar clients continue to require additional support at this time including counselling, emergency assistance, and/or career planning for after COVID-19. The story below is a direct copy of what the Hagar Vietnam team sent through this week regarding one woman they have been able to assist during this time: 

“*Mai is one of the first clients that Hagar received when we first started working in Vietnam. Mai has been suffering the trauma caused by domestic violence. Mai with Hagar’s care, gradually escaped the ghost of her painful past to become more independent and self-sufficient in her life. Thanks to Hagar, Mai had the opportunity to receive vocational training and is currently working at a restaurant. Although the work is hard and her income is low, Mai works very hard to earn enough money to raise her high-school son and manage their living costs. Every day that has passed, she has to live in panic and worry about whether she and her son would have food to eat tomorrow.

With our mission of “the whole journey”, although the case had closed for nearly 2 years, the case manager has always followed up Mai’s situation during the pandemic. Knowing the difficulty she was facing, Hagar quickly subsidized nutrition to ensure that she was in good physical and mental health. Particularly, understanding the stress and fears of being unemployed, the case manager provides Mai with information about government support packages and guides her on how to prepare and submit the administrative documents to receive this support. Thanks to the care and guidance of Hagar, Mai was relieved and less tense about the economic burden when finished the registration for the government support package.

Our Work in Vietnam

Now a make-up and hair specialist, Hoa was once trafficked into the sex industry from Vietnam. Read about her inspiring recovery journey with Hagar here.

Vietnam remains a significant target for traffickers. Vulnerable women, men, and children are at risk of sex trafficking and forced labour. Women are trafficked as brides to neighbouring countries, as well as further afield, with incidents of trafficking that reach as far as Europe.

Domestic violence is also widespread. Nearly 60% of married women have suffered from physical or sexual abuse in their lifetime.

In Vietnam, we support women and their children who have fled from severe domestic violence and human trafficking. Our programmes in Vietnam include trauma counselling, education, job training and organising safe accommodation in the community.

We have developed strong partnerships, including with the Yen Bai Women’s Union in to build their capacity to prevent trafficking and protect survivors in Northern Vietnam.

Help us Transform Lives

Donate Now

By partnering with Hagar, you're supporting survivors to heal from the trauma of severe abuse. Our work is dependent on charitable giving by people like you. 

Help us Transform Lives

Donate Now

By partnering with Hagar, you're supporting survivors to heal from the trauma of severe abuse. Our work is dependent on charitable giving by people like you. 


Help us Transform Lives

Donate Now

By partnering with Hagar, you're supporting survivors to heal from the trauma of severe abuse. Our work is dependent on charitable giving by people like you. 


Help us Transform Lives

Donate Now

By partnering with Hagar, you're supporting survivors to heal from the trauma of severe abuse. Our work is dependent on charitable giving by people like you. 


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