|A doctor performs a health examination of an influenza A patient at Thanh Nhàn Hospital in Hà Nội. Most patients were admitted to the hospital in very serious conditions. — VNA/VNS Photo Minh Quyet|
HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Health has proposed keeping COVID-19 in the 'Group A' of infectious diseases and not downgrading it to an endemic disease yet, in the ministry's latest draft on COVID-19 prevention and control measures in the new situation.
Explaining the decision, the Ministry of Health said that most countries in the world were in a state of unstable COVID-19 cases and deaths, with an erratic increase and decrease trends as new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus appear. Furthermore, acquired immunity (from vaccines and infection) had not been stable for a long time and decreases over time.
In Việt Nam, more than nine million new cases were reported in the first seven months of this year, with over 33,000 cases in July alone, up 22.4 per cent from June. Cases of the sub-variants BA.4 and BA.5 had been recorded and account for a large proportion of cases in the southern provinces. Meanwhile, the rate of booster shot vaccinations and vaccinations among children was low in some localities.
A rise in new cases could overload the health system, particularly as other diseases such as influenza type A and dengue fever are now entering peak season, and infectious diseases like monkeypox appear around the world.
At the same time, the ministry suggested step-by-step easing pandemic prevention and control measures in a flexible manner.
The ministry has also built plans to respond to different scenarios of COVID-19 in 2022 and 2023, based on the WHO’s strategic preparedness and response plan for COVID-19.
It urged enhanced vigilance against new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and staying prepared to respond to any possible pandemic scenarios, along with accelerating the pace of administering booster shots and basic doses for children from 5 to 11 years old. — VNS