|Almost all passengers waiting for security checks at Nội Bài International Airport, Hà Nội, are wearing masks. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hùng|
HÀ NỘI — The implementation of COVID-19 prevention measures – masking and disinfecting – should be done regularly and continuously during the upcoming five-day holiday, health officials have recommended amid a rise in infections in the country.
Professor Phan Trọng Lân, Director of the Health Ministry's Department of Preventive Medicine, said at a conference by the health ministry with local authorities that COVID-19 has a resurgence in Việt Nam, with increasing daily cases.
Two deaths from the virus have been recorded recently, the first in nearly four months, including a patient with underlying diseases who was not vaccinated against COVID-19.
In Việt Nam, more than 266 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered so far. However, some provinces and cities still have not caught up with booster shots for people over 18 years old and children between five and 12 years old.
The authorities have requested localities accelerate vaccination for people in high-risk groups to protect these subjects.
Professor Lân suggested that localities need to increase pandemic surveillance during the holiday. After a few years of travel restrictions caused by the pandemic, demand for travel is expected to be quite high, which results in elevated risks of disease spreading.
Furthermore, the local health sector must continue coordinating with the education authorities to ensure pandemic prevention in schools, as many will start final exams after the holiday.
Lân also suggested that the Pasteur Institutes and the regional branches of the Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology work with the provinces and cities to strengthen the monitoring and evaluation of hospitalised and severe cases, which will provide data to inform the public about the outbreak situation and urge further vaccinations.
At the same time, the institutes will need to step up sampling and genetic sequencing of case samples to keep a close watch on variants of coronavirus circulating in the community.
Regarding vaccination against COVID-19, Lân stated that the population has high vaccination rates, and the vaccine is still effective against the Omicron variant. However, it is recommended that localities publicly announce and update vaccination sites so that people can easily access them.
Localities need to manage non-communicable diseases in the community and medical facilities to reduce pressure when dealing with people with underlying medical conditions that have COVID-19.
Provinces and cities should promptly update local pandemic assessment levels to take appropriate measures to prevent and control serious outbreaks. — VNS