|Khánh Yên Secondary High School in Lào Cai Province reported a cluster of over 50 COVID-19 infections over the weekend including both teachers and students, but in-person study continued with prevention and control measures in place. — VNA/VNS Photo Quốc Khánh|
HÀ NỘI — 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 which is in a changing season period, Prof. Phan Trọng Lân, 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, Lân said.
COVID-19-hit areas are still assessed at level 1 or low risk, Prof. Lân said. This assessment is based on not only the number of new COVID-19 infections, but also number of severely ill cases, vaccination coverage and local capacity in terms of receiving patients and providing treatment.
He spoke highly of the involvement of localities in handling outbreaks, noting that there were two outbreaks in the northern province of Lào Cai but the local authorities and relevant forces handled those thoroughly, preventing the virus from spreading.
Hà Nội, another locality with new clusters of infections, 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 communicate with the community.
According to the forecasts of scientists and the World Health Organization, the SARS-CoV-2 virus still exists, Lân 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, Việt Nam'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.
Nearly 100 per cent of all people above 12 years old have received the primary COVID-19 vaccine shots, while booster shot coverage is also very high at 80-90 per cent, Lân noted.
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 health ministry, he noted. — VNS