Omicron coronavirus variant dominates new infections in Vietnam’s HCMC

, Omicron coronavirus variant dominates new infections in Vietnam’s HCMC

A week-long random screening conducted by health authorities in Ho Chi Minh City recently discovered that the Omicron coronavirus variant is dominating new infections.

The municipal health department’s director Tang Chi Thuong told a meeting on Tuesday afternoon the aforementioned finding.

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In the random screening, 70 out of 92 samples taken tested positive for the Omicron variant, representing a ratio of more than 76 percent, while the Delta variant made up less than 30 percent.

As a way to examine the accuracy of the method, health workers continued to randomly conduct gene sequencing on 26 out of the 70 samples infected with the Omicron variant.

The results later showed that all of the 26 samples carried the Omicron mutant, which was designated by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a variant of concern in November 2021. 

“This is the scientific basis proving that the number of infections with the Omicron strain in Ho Chi Minh City is increasing and predominating,” Thuong said. 

“This also partly explains the surging COVID-19 cases in the city.”

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Thuong added that the weekly count of coronavirus infections in the city has accelerated from 3,000-4,000 cases three weeks ago to 15,000 this week.

Currently, about 14,000 patients are being isolated and treated at home. However, the number of severe cases requiring ventilators shows little change. 

New cases among children, especially those who have just returned to school for offline study, have also been on the rise.

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The city recorded nearly 500 cases of COVID-19 among students at 117 schools from February 7 to 13 and more than 6,000 infections at 201 schools last week.

Three children’s hospitals in the city, with a total capacity of 450 normal beds and 150 resuscitation beds, are treating 100 children infected with the coronavirus, including 15 hailing from other localities. Most of those child patients have mild or no symptoms.

Thuong noted that 93 percent of children under 12 years of age have not been vaccinated against COVID-19.

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The city’s health sector is paying special attention to this age group, with plans for treating a large number of them underway, the health director affirmed.

Ho Chi Minh City has detected over 522,100 infections since the fourth virus wave broke out in Vietnam on April 27, 2021.

The metropolis of nine million people has gradually resumed socio-economic activities since early October last year after being placed under strict lockdown for nearly six months and welcomed students back to school on February 14.

More than 8.1 million adults in the city have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose while over 7.5 million of them have been jabbed twice.

By Tuoi Tre Newspaper

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