HCMC determines to live with the Omicron variant

In recent days, the number of Covid-19 cases in Ho Chi Minh City has continuously increased, mainly due to the Omicron variant. Experts said that this new wave of the coronavirus pandemic is more like seasonal flu; city administrations determine to live with the Omicron variant.
HCMC determines to live with the Omicron variant ảnh 1 Illustrative photo
As of the morning of February 2, Ho Chi Minh City recorded 2,022 cases of Covid-19, bringing the total number of cases in the area to 537,744, mainly caused by the Omicron variant. Most of infection cases are living in outlying district Hoc Mon, districts 7, Binh Thanh and Thu Duc City.
The city Department of Health said that Omicron is currently the main pathogenic variant in the city while the health sector is carrying out random sampling to monitor in the context of the circulation of the Omicron variant in the community.
Based on the forecast of the Omicron variant, Associate Professor Do Van Dung from the Ho Chi Minh City-based University of Medicine and Pharmacy said that the number of infection cases caused by the Omicron variant in the city will increase and peak in about three weeks.
The number of cases at the peak of the epidemic can reach over 105,000 people a day and the city needs to prepare around 6,000 beds for intensive care at the peak time.
Dr. Nguyen Quoc Binh, former deputy director of the Ho Chi Minh City Center for Biotechnology, said that the Omicron coronavirus variant is better at circumventing vaccinated peoples' immunity and the new variant was more infectious than the Delta variant among vaccinated people.
However, fully vaccinated people still has antibodies against the virus; thus, people with the Omicron variant have symptoms like the common flu such as cough, headache, runny nose, and fatigue.
Currently, according to the health sector’s statistics, there is a relatively low case fatality rate, medical workers advised people to keep calm. A person can still get infected with the omicron coronavirus variant if they already had Covid and if they are vaccinated and boosted, medical experts say.
According to Chief of Office of Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health Nguyen Thi Huynh Mai, although the number of Covid-19 cases in the city has increased, the number of severe cases, ventilators, and deaths are at the lowest level. Presently, about 90 percent of cases are being isolated and treated at home. Ms. Huynh Mai said that vaccination plays a vital role in strengthening immunity against the Omicron variant. Therefore, city dwellers should get vaccine doses on schedule. In addition to vaccination, people at risk should also be further protected.
Furthermore, to reduce the spread of the disease, each person must implement the 5K principles, she said. Anyone having symptoms of illness should isolate themself immediately. If their at-home test result is positive for SARS-CoV-2, they need to declare it to the local health department for care and treatment, as well as comply with the isolation regulations to help prevent the spread of Covid-19, as well as other coronaviruses and influenza, said Ms. Huynh Mai.
Associate Professor Dr. Vu Minh Phuc, former Head of the Department of Pediatrics - University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Ho Chi Minh City, said that it is necessary to live safely with the virus by applying 5K measures. If vaccination rates are already high but the number of infections is increasing rapidly, the health system needs to have response scenarios for the preparation of the worst situation.
The health sector should allocate antiretroviral drugs to public and private drug stores. Additionally, the city should rebuild the network of monitoring and oxygen supply at the grassroots medical facilities in districts and wards. Finally, both mild and severe patients are given medicine.
Vietnam’s Ministry of Health confirmed 110,301 Covid-19 patients throughout the nation on the night of March 2, in addition to 36,902 hospital discharges and 114 virus-related deaths.

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