Prior to the coronavirus, Hanoi City was regularly packed full of street vendors and tourists. Since the coronavirus has took the world by storm, the Old Quarter, or better known as “ Phố cổ ” to the locals, has come to an absolute standstill. The streets of the Old Quarter have transformed from controlled chaos to tranquillity in a matter of weeks. The continuous beeping of motorcycle horns has been superseded by the subtle tweeting of birds leaving the bustling streets with an eerie vibe.

Dong Kinh Nghia Thuc Square (Quảng Trường Đông Kinh Nghĩa Thục)


‘COVID 19′ AKA ‘Coronavirus’ is the story of 2020 and will live on through history lessons of the future. It comes to no surprise that Vietnam has been effected given that it shares, roughly, a 1,400km (870mi) border with China. Despite this, Vietnam has soldiered on and has been praised internationally for its early containment of the disease.

Throughout Vietnam, Hanoi City has been the most affected area with 112 confirmed cases (268 cases nationwide) of the virus. This seemingly high number, relative to its neighbours, is staggeringly low.

Amazingly, Vietnam has reported a 0% mortality rate and from the 268 confirmed cases, 80% have recovered so far. (as of 20th Aptil 2020)

Confirmed 268 Recovered 214 Deaths 0


Phase Number of cases Description
Phase 1
23/01 – 25/02/20)
16 Majority of confirmed cases have had travel history to China.
Phase 2
(6/03 -19/03/20)
69 The virus has spread globally, many cases reported are from other countries but it is still easy to trace spread and quarantine.
Phase 3
(20/02/20 – ongoing)
183 Infections in communities, many clusters begin to appear in high-density areas. The source of the infection is untraceable.

Vietnamese authorities put a section of Truc Bach Street under quarantine. Credit: AFP News Agency, Mar 9, 2020


Although Vietnam has done an incredible job in containing the virus, it isn’t at the finish line yet.

The Grand Prix, an international racing event, was due to make its debut in Hanoi, Vietnam on the 3rd of April 2020. The Hanoi Street Circuit or better known as “Đường đua phố Hà Nội” to the locals, would have boosted Vietnam’s international image and could have been the catalyst for Vietnam’s tourism. The asphalt track is 5.6km (3.4mi) long and boasts 23 turns and twists, providing multiple viewing angles for fellow motor enthusiasts.

Hanoi Street Circuit (Đường đua phố Hà Nội)


Over the past 8 years, on average, tourism in Vietnam has accounted for 6% of GDP. This number was expected to grow through 2020 and beyond but due to the insurgence of coronavirus globally, this is due to decline. Factoring in the closing of borders, strict screening on arrival and the proximity to China, chances are that it will take some time to get back to its once prosperous self.

Take a look for yourself; below are the statistics for Vietnam’s international arrivals.

Date Number of international arrivals
01/2020 1,710,168
02/2020 1,242,731
03/2020 449,923


Ultimately, The people of Vietnam are on the right path and are taking the necessary precautions and actions in order to contain and defeat COVID-19. We are all responsible for the wellbeing of each other and should remain united in order to prevail.

Some precautions to take if travelling is necessary:

  • Wash hands often for 20 seconds and encourage others to do the same.
  • If no soap and water is available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue away.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Disinfect surfaces, buttons, handles, knobs and other places touched often.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Thanks for reading about the coronavirus in Hanoi and if you’re wondering where to go on a day trip in Hanoi, check out our other blog post:

Additionally, if you’re wondering how to get to Sapa from hanoi, check out this post: