|A woman receives a dose of COVID-19 vaccine. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Health (MoH) has issued a directive on proactive implementation of COVID-19 prevention and control measures, as well as measures to prevent the resurgence of the pandemic.
This action was taken as the World Health Organization (WHO) assessed the new EG.5 sub-variant of Omicron as a "significant concern," which is currently spreading in many countries.
The WHO’s recent report revealed that from July 10-August 6, there were nearly 1.5 million new infections worldwide, marking an 80 per cent increase compared to the previous four weeks. However, the number of COVID-19-related deaths fell by 57 per cent, totalling 2,500.
The ministry has sent a dispatch to authorities of centrally-run cities and provinces requesting active response to COVID-19.
Accordingly, cities and provinces were urged to seriously follow the Government and Prime Minister’s directives on pandemic prevention and control, effectively realise the Government’s Resolution and the Health Ministry’s guidelines on prevention and control of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases such as dengue fever, hand-foot-and-mouth disease.
They should be prepared for various scenarios that could arise, intensify surveillance efforts for early detection and timely handling of cases and outbreaks, and effectively implement the expanded vaccination programme for 2023, focusing on the COVID-19 vaccine.
Furthermore, they should provide close coordination with Epidemiology Institutes, Pasteur Institutes, and hospitals under the MoH for sample collection, gene sequencing for early detection of new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and promptly report these findings to the ministry.
Provinces and cities need to be prepared with contingency plans for patient care and treatment, while also enhancing their diagnostic and treatment capabilities. This includes ensuring the availability of medicines, vaccines, biological materials, medical supplies, chemicals, equipment, and human resources to effectively serve the pandemic prevention and control efforts.
Assoc. Prof Trần Đắc Phu, former Director of the ministry’s General Department of Preventive Medicine, said in the current context, Việt Nam needs to continue closely monitoring the WHO's information on the transmissibility and virulence of new variants, including the EG.5 sub-variant.
Preventive measures in the public should continue, such as wearing masks in high-risk areas, regularly washing hands and receiving vaccination, and others, he said.
Particular attention should be paid to high-risk groups, individuals with underlying health conditions, and those with weakened immune systems. — VNS