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Vietnam’s Covid caseload rises by over 16,500

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – The Ministry of Health today, December 31, confirmed 16,515 new Covid-19 cases, sending the country’s Covid-19 caseload in the ongoing fourth Covid-19 wave to nearly 1.73 million.

The new infections included 39 imported cases and 16,476 local transmissions in 60 cities and provinces, down 504 cases against yesterday.

Hanoi still recorded the biggest number of new infections for the 11th consecutive days with 1,914 cases, followed by Vinh Long with 1,080, Ca Mau with 1,063 and Binh Phuoc with 1,003.

In addition, 799 other cases were detected in Khanh Hoa, 776 in Tay Ninh, 655 in Binh Dinh, 571 in Tra Vinh, 570 in Dong Thap and 557 in HCMC. Bac Lieu, Haiphong, Thua Thien-Hue and Ben Tre had 541, 520 and 404 cases, respectively.

Other cities and provinces had fewer than 400 cases each.

Today, 14 imported Covid cases in Quang Nam were found to be infected with Omicron, raising the total Omicron-infected cases in the country to 15.

To date, over 1.35 million patients have made a full recovery, including 18,642 people today.

Meanwhile, 226 more Covid fatalities were confirmed, including 34 in HCMC, 18 each in Dong Nai and An Giang, 15 each in Vinh Long and Can Tho, 14 in Dong Thap, 13 in Binh Duong, 12 in Kien Giang, 11 in Soc Trang and 10 each in Khanh Hoa and Tien Giang. Fourteen other localities had fewer than 10 Covid deaths.

At a press briefing on December 30, Nguyen Thi Huynh Mai, head of the HCMC Department of Health’s office, said the city currently had 11 suppliers of medical oxygen which could provide 150 tons of liquid oxygen per day, meeting hospitals’ demand for Covid treatment, Tuoi Tre Online newspaper reported.

Two weeks ago, the city needed some 166 tons of liquid oxygen per day. At the time, the number of Covid-19 cases rose, posing a high risk of oxygen shortage.

Therefore, the municipal government proposed the Government direct sectors, especially the steel production sector, to prioritize the production of medical oxygen.

As for strategies to cope with the Omicron variant, Mai said the HCMC Department of Health had had plans to enhance the monitoring and control of immigrants.

Samples of Covid cases will be put under genetic sequencing and Omicron-infected cases will be sent to field hospital No. 12 in Thu Duc City for treatment.

Nguyen Hong Tam, deputy director of the municipal Center for Disease Control, said the city had earlier proposed to vaccinate children aged between three and 11 against Covid-19. The Ministry of Health later asked the competent agencies to formulate a plan to vaccinate them in 2022.

HCMC has made a list of these children and get prepared for the vaccination.

By December 29, the city still had 464,000 Covid vaccine doses in stock. Thu Duc City and districts have administered some 100,000 doses per day, Tam added.

The city was allocated 200,000 doses today and will receive another one million doses in the coming periods. The city is striving to complete its Covid vaccine booster shot campaign by January next year.


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