The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was expected to be severe in 2021, prompting the Government of Vietnam to implement a "dual objectives" policy to achieve disease control and economic development. To understand the impact of the pandemic on PWDs, two rapid assessments of the impact of COVID-19 on the lives, health, and livelihoods of PWDs was conducted in March and April 2020. The research team conducted the second surveys in September 2021 with in-person interviews, phone calls, and questionnaires via Google Forms in an accessible format for persons of all types of disabilities. The survey covered 63 provinces and six ecological regions, and a total of 1,792 PWDs were included in the sample. The study found that up to 88 percent of PWDs had access to information on COVID-19, but employment and income decline were identified as the main factors that forced 90 percent of PWD households to limit their daily expenses. Many households were forced to reduce food and beverage costs (56 percent), and by cutting more than one third of total living costs compared to pre-COVID-19 (48 percent). Many households were forced to cover the spending for family members (22 percent), increase borrowing from friends and relatives (18 percent), and even sell assets (two percent) to maintain a basic standard of living. The saving of the household with PWDs were estimated to last approximately two months.
The study also found that 71 percent of PWDs faced difficulties in access to health care, and 55 percent of PWDs still reported experiencing anxiety, 14 percent reported experiencing emotional trauma, 9 percent felt isolated, and 12 percent reported they felt hopelessness over their prospects.