|The 'stealth' Omicron sublineage is currently the dominant COVID strain in Hà Nội. Photo laodong.com.vn|
HÀ NỘI -The Department of Health of Hà Nội has announced that Omicron is now the dominant COVID variant in the capital.
Speaking at a meeting of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control on Friday, Vũ Cao Cường, deputy director of Hà Nội’s Department of Health, said that gene sequencing results of 109 samples taken from December 4 last year to March 1 showed that 80 per cent were Omicron.
Also, among these Omicron samples, 86 per cent were the BA.2 sub-variant, or the stealth variant.
The BA.2 sublineage is capable of spreading 1.5 times faster than the original Omicron variant BA.1, and can avoid the immune effects of current vaccines by about 30 per cent higher than the original variant. In HCM City, Omicron accounted for 76 per cent of samples sequenced for viral genes.
With these results, it can be understood that Omicron is the main strain circulating in Hà Nội. The city’s Department of Health estimates that the number of cases will continue to increase due to the high infectivity of this variant.
At the meeting, Director of the Department of Health Trần Thị Nhị Hà said that the BA.2 strain was spreading at a fast rate.
However, "patients on the second and third level of treatment (severe cases) tend to decrease, so in recent days, the rate of F0s admitted to the hospital only accounts for 1-1.5 per cent", she said.
She suggested that localities strengthen the application of COVID-19 patient management software for home treatment; speed up the third dose vaccination; supervise the sale of Molnupiravir to avoid hoarding and prices rises.
Chử Xuân Dũng, Vice Chairman of Hà Nội’s People's Committee, said that the pandemic situation was very complicated, asking localities to prioritise pandemic prevention and control while also raising people's awareness of anti-pandemic measures.
He also asked people not to abuse rapid tests, which is causing waste and scarcity of medical supplies.
Hà Nội has so far recorded more than 520,000 cases of COVID-19. In the past two weeks, the number of infections increased by 343 per cent.
In recent days, average cases were 27,000 a day, with the record being more than 32,000 cases. More than 95 per cent of patients are mild and asymptomatic, less than four per cent are treated by the second and third levels of the city’s COVID treatment hospitals (severe cases), and the mortality rate is 0.4 per cent. VNS