COVID situation still unpredictable, not yet time to declare pandemic over: official

October, 27/2022 - 09:26
Phan Trọng Lân, head of the General Department of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry of Health, said globally, the COVID-19 situation is still complicated, and immunity gained has been reduced over time. 

 

Administering third doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the northern province of Lạng Sơn in January 2022. — VNA/VNS Photo Anh Tuấn

HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Health believes the COVID-19 situation is still unpredictable due to the risk of more new dangerous virus variants, and countries must continue working to strengthen their surveillance systems.

Phan Trọng Lân, head of the General Department of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry of Health, said globally, the COVID-19 situation is still complicated, and immunity gained has been reduced over time. 

Meanwhile, COVID-19 is constantly mutating with new variants and sub-variants that can spread more quickly and avoid the immune system.

The Emergency Committee of the WHO still holds meetings every three months to review the global situation and make recommendations to member countries.

Phan Trọng Lân, head of the General Department of Preventive Medicine. Photo suckhoedoisong.vn

At its latest meeting on October 13, the committee said the COVID-19 pandemic was still happening worldwide and advised countries to strengthen their monitoring systems, expand treatment capacities and vaccine coverage, and update national plans for coping with COVID, Lân said.

He said if Việt Nam was to announce the pandemic is over, there might be several challenges.

Firstly, if a dangerous COVID-19 strain arises and it reduces the effectiveness of vaccination or avoids the immune system, it is likely to cause more severe cases and deaths, which could overload the capabilities of the medical system.

Secondly, the mobilisation of society sections at all levels to fight the virus would no longer receive the level of attention needed. As a result, people may get complacent, and it would be difficult to reactivate administrative measures to prevent and control the pandemic.

Lân added that in the past, with the development of the pandemic, authorities have loosened measures as in the previous period so that society can live 'normally', people can travel and production can resume. 

Specifically, the authorities have stopped medical declaration, stopped the isolation of people on entry and having contact with COVID patients, expanding home treatment. In addition, the zoning of the outbreak is carried out in the smallest possible scope.

However, if the pandemic resurges in any localities, strict prevention measures will be quickly applied again to prevent the effect on the whole society, Lân said. VNS

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