New COVID variants found in HCM City, health ministry urges vaccination

April 24, 2023 - 17:03
According to the HCMC Department of Health on the afternoon of April 23, the new sub-variants of Omicron found include XBB.1.5, XBB.1.9.1, XBB.1.16, and XBB.1.16.1.


A health worker gives a COVID-19 vaccination shot. — VNA/VNS Photo

HCM CITY — New Omicron variants of COVID-19 have been discovered in HCM City. 

The variants were found following epidemiological samples of HCM City Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Pasteur Institute HCMC taken on April 21.

According to the HCMC Department of Health, on the afternoon of April 23, the new sub-variants of Omicron found include XBB.1.5, XBB.1.9.1, XBB.1.16, and XBB.1.16.1.

From April 8 to 14, 11 out of 13 epidemiological surveillance samples tested by the centre had evidence of these new sub-variants.

In addition to the recently discovered sub-variant (XBB.1.5), there are also samples belonging to other new sub-variants, including XBB.1.9.1, XBB.1.16, and XBB.1.16.1.

The new sub-variants found in the city are also sub-variants that have appeared in many countries around the world and are classified by the WHO as variants of interest (VOIs) or variants under monitoring (VUMs).

Currently, there are no reports showing a correlation between VOIs or VUMs and more severe cases of COVID-19 globally.

However, the Department of Health assessed that with the current situation, the increasing number of new cases will lead to an increase in hospitalisations, which will be difficult to avoid. On the other hand, most of the hospitalised cases are people at risk, including those who have not received enough doses of COVID-19 vaccines according to the regulations of the Ministry of Health.

"Citizens need to actively protect others who are at risk," the HCM City Department of Health urged.

According to the department, the city recorded 193 new COVID cases on April 22. As many as 152 patients are currently hospitalised in the city, with 52 requiring ventilation.

Amid the rapidly increasing number of new cases of COVID-19, the Ministry of Health has urged continued efforts to accelerate vaccination, with priority given to groups with high risk of developing serious symptoms and even dying when contracting the virus.

During the week from April 16-22, Việt Nam recorded 12,700 new cases, the highest weekly number since the beginning of the year.

The total number of COVID-19 cases so far rose to 11,544,77 with 10,616,725 patients having recovered.

At present, 123 patients are in serious condition needing breathing support, including 24 requiring invasive mechanical ventilation.

One death from COVID-19 was reported in Hà Nội on April 22, raising the total number of fatalities from the pandemic so far to 43,187.

More than 266 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered. — VNS