|COVID-19 testing at Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport, HCM City. — Photo from HCM City Centre for Disease Control|
HCM CITY — The HCM City healthcare sector has assured it is well prepared to respond to the highly contagious Omicron variant of COVID-19 after the city recorded three domestic cases, and called on the public to stay calm and not panic.
Addressing a press conference on Thursday, Phạm Đức Hải, deputy head of the HCM City Steering Committee for Pandemic Prevention and Control, said: “The health sector and related agencies have been taking co-ordinated measures to respond.
“The city has not altered its decision to organise activities such as the flower street, book street and spring flower festival. People’s awareness is the decisive factor in the fight against the pandemic.”
Nguyễn Thị Huỳnh Mai, chief of the city Department of Health Office, said: “Hospitals and field hospitals are ready to spring into action within 24 hours.”
The city would contact trace and test everyone who was in close contact with the Omicron cases, she said.
Health authorities would continue to monitor people at risk and perform gene sequencing for early detection of infections, she said.
The city would continue to provide booster vaccine shots, she added.
Nguyễn Hồng Tâm, deputy director of the HCM City Centre for Disease Control (HCDC), said the city would continue to closely monitor visitors entering the country.
The centre has been doing rapid COVID tests for everyone arriving at Tân Sơn Nhất airport, and those testing positive are transferred to the 12th Field Hospital for treatment.
Gene sequencing is done to determine the strain.
Screening is done in high-risk areas in the community if there is a rapid increase in the number of cases, Tâm said.
The city has developed plans especially to protect high-risk people such as seniors and those with underlying conditions.
The city on Wednesday found the country’s first three community cases, all linked to a Vietnamese woman who entered the country on January 7.
So far, the city has had more than 512,000 COVID cases and 20,200 deaths. Around 3,630 are currently in hospital, including 75 children aged under 16, 270 critically ill people on ventilators and 17 with ECMO intervention.
Meanwhile, Hà Nội will strive to complete COVID-19 vaccinations for more than 1,000 elderly people with underlying conditions in the city, even if they have to carry out throughout the upcoming Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday, amid case spike.
The work is under the request of the Chairman of the Hà Nội People’s Committee Chu Ngọc Anh.
So far, 99.5 per cent of children between 12 and 14 years old in the capital city have received the first dose, and 89.1 per cent the second dose.
As many as 99.4 per cent of children between 15 and 17 received the first dose and 93.3 per the second dose.
Still, the city is still recording the highest daily number of new infections in the country, with roughly 3,000 cases a day in recent weeks.
Hà Nội has founded mobile medical stations and is aiming to have no critical cases or fatalities.
The capital now has COVID patients in all 30 districts.
Districts with a high amount of patients, more than 100 new ones per day, include Hoàng Mai, Đống Đa, Nam Từ Liêm, Gia Lâm and Thanh Trì. — VNS