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New Covid-19 cases at over 16,800

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – The Ministry of Health confirmed 16,838 new Covid-19 infections today, January 18, with 75 of them imported and 16,763 locally infected, up 438 cases day-on-day.

The new domestic infections were found in all 63 cities and provinces, with Hanoi recording the highest case number, at 2,935. It was followed by Haiphong with 1,139, Danang with 943, Tra Vinh with 638, Binh Dinh with 584 and Thanh Hoa with 544.

In addition, 514 cases were reported in Binh Phuoc, 507 in Khanh Hoa, 491 in Bac Ninh, 470 in Ben Tre and 462 in Quang Ngai. Other localities had fewer than 400 cases each.

Quang Ninh Province has detected two Omicron cases, raising the total Omicron case count in the country to 70.

With the new domestic infections, the country’s Covid-19 tally has risen to nearly 2.06 million in the fourth Covid wave, including some 1.75 million recoveries.

Today alone, nearly 8,700 Covid-19 patients were confirmed to have recovered from Covid-19, while there are currently over 5,400 critically ill Covid patients in the country.

The Ministry of Health also reported 184 Covid-19 deaths, including13 in HCMC, 30 fatalities in two days in Dong Thap, 12 each in Hanoi, Vinh Long and Kien Giang, 11 in Ben Tre and 10 in An Giang. Twenty-one other localities had fewer than 10 Covid fatalities each.

In related news, the Ministry of Health has advised localities against setting off fireworks during the upcoming Tet holiday to ensure safety from Covid-19. If localities still organize firework shows, they must ensure that local residents comply with anti-pandemic measures and not gather in the locations of the firework shows.

In a document on anti-pandemic measures during the Tet holiday sent to the Government Office, the ministry stated that many localities have still recorded a high number of new Covid cases in the community, especially those with a high population density.

In addition, the Omicron variant has been transmitting fast and showing complicated developments in many countries in the region and in the world.

Travel and other activities of residents during the holiday must be in line with anti-pandemic regulations of the national steering committee for Covid-19 infection prevention and control. Cities and provinces must continue to adapt safely and flexibly to Covid-19.

Localities will base on the pandemic situation within their precincts to decide the suspension of non-essential activities gathering a large number of participants and maintain production and business activities in a safe manner.

At a press briefing on January 17, Nguyen Hong Tam, deputy director of the HCMC Center for Disease Control, said immigrants through the Tan Son Nhat International Airport had been monitored strictly to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant in the community.

To date, Omicron-infected cases in the city are all imported.

Answering a question that if residents returning to the city after spending their Tet holiday in other localities will be put under quarantine, Tam said only people showing Covid symptoms or having close contact with Covid cases will be tested and quarantined.

Nguyen Thi Huynh Mai, head of the municipal Department of Health’s office, informed that field hospitals in the city are operating at 10%-30% of capacity. Therefore, the city had closed four field hospitals.

However, the municipal Department of Health will reopen field hospitals if needed and these hospitals will be reactivated within 24 hours, Mai added.

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