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Acting Minister of Health warns of overlapping epidemics

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Acting Minister of Health Dao Hong Lan has warned of the high risk of overlapping epidemics.

“Apart from the Covid-19 pandemic, diseases such as monkeypox, dengue fever, influenza, and hand, foot and mouth disease are entering their peak season,” Lan said at a virtual conference on disease prevention and control held on August 2.

According to her, pollution, climate change, urbanization and migration, along with virus mutation, are fertile ground for disease outbreaks, the local media reported.

However, she stressed that epidemic prevention and control measures had not been synchronously coordinated by local authorities, health agencies and other sectors.

Certain places appear to be distracted while implementing policies, said Lan.

Omicron and its variants, namely BA.4, BA.5, BA.2.75 and BA.2.12.1, have recently driven up hospitalizations and deaths. The number of new Covid-19 cases in the past week increased by 48% compared to the previous week.

In the first seven months, Vietnam recorded more than nine million Covid cases, accounting for 83.9% of the total, with nearly 11,000 deaths, or 0.1%.

She underlined the need to speed up vaccinations, particularly third and fourth doses. Children 5 to 11 should be given their shots.

She also urged the prompt formulation of response plans and disease updates in the face of dengue fever, monkeypox, and hand, foot, and mouth disease.

According to the Ministry of Health, Vietnam has confirmed 136,075 cases of dengue fever this year, an increase of 3.2 times over the same period in 2021, with 45 fatalities.

The current surges have occurred in the southern and central provinces, mainly in HCMC, Binh Duong, Dong Nai, Tay Ninh, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Danang and Quang Nam, said Nguyen Luong Tam, deputy director of the Department of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry of Health.

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