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HCMC tightens anti-pandemic measures as Omicron dominates

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – HCMC has tightened anti-pandemic measures as the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, which is more contagious than the Delta variant, dominates the new Covid cases in the city.

The municipal government wrote to localities and departments on March 4, asking them to strictly comply with Covid infection prevention and control measures.

The city forecast that Omicron will cause more infections in the community, factories and schools in the coming time.

The health authority should further accelerate vaccinations and prepare resources to vaccinate children aged five to 11 after receiving instructions from the Ministry of Health.

They were also asked to pay more attention to high-risk groups such as the elderly, those with underlying medical problems and people ineligible for vaccination. 

The localities need to improve the capacity of the healthcare system, increase inspections into crowded venues such as factories, markets, supermarkets, bus stations and airports and strictly sanction individuals and organizations committing violations. 

The Department of Health is in charge of ensuring a sufficient supply of Covid drugs, medical equipment, medical oxygen and personal protective equipment for Covid treatment facilities.

It will also work with the Department of Information and Communications to raise public awareness about the importance of vaccination and compliance with anti-pandemic measures amid a major spike in new Covid-19 infections.

As of late February, the Omicron variant had become dominant in HCMC, accounting for over 76% of new infections detected through random testing.

The World Health Organization (WHO) designated Omicron a variant of concern on November 26, 2021. This decision was based on the evidence presented to the WHO’s Technical Advisory Group on Virus Evolution that Omicron has several mutations that may impact how it behaves; for example, on how easily it spreads or the severity of illness it causes.

Preliminary evidence suggests there may be an increased risk of reinfection with Omicron compared to other variants of concern.

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