New COVID-19 cases rising again, particularly Omicron variant: health official
The number of new COVID-19 cases is on the rise again, with those infected with Omicron variant making up the majority, and mainly concentrating in the northern region - where the season is changing, Prof. Phan Trong Lan, Director of the Health Ministry's Department of Preventive Medicine reported at a press conference on April 13.
Statistics last week showed the number of cases had increased by nearly four times compared to the previous week. In addition, the current weather is favourable for the development of the virus, Lan said.
Based on the number of cases, COVID-19-affected areas are assessed at level 1 (low risk), Prof. Lan said.
He spoke highly of the involvement of localities in handling outbreaks, noting that there were two outbreaks in Lao Cai province but the local authorities and relevant forces handled those thoroughly, preventing the virus from spreading.
Hanoi has also taken strong measures to reduce the infection, he added.
He underlined the need to closely monitor the data to have timely response measures, while suggesting localities nationwide strengthen the review of the "pandemic level" and clearly publicise in the community.
According to the forecasts of scientists and the World Health Organization, the SARS-CoV-2 virus still exists, Lan said, stressing that it is necessary to focus on protecting high-risk groups and frontline health workers, and prevent overloading of the health system.
More efforts should be undertaken to reduce the number of hospitalised patients, those with severe diseases, and death, the official said.
Recently, Vietnam's COVID-19 prevention and control activities have proven effective thanks to the mass vaccination campaign, he said, adding that the efficiency of COVID-19 vaccines in preventing the spread of the Omicron variant is limited, but their ability to prevent severe symptoms, hospitalisation, and death is effective.
The elderly and people with underlying diseases, those are immunocompromised, and pregnant women are prone to severe changes and are at risk of death when infected with COVID-19, so it is necessary to get vaccinated against COVID-19 timely in accordance with the guidelines and recommendations of the MOH, he noted.