High chance of new Covid outbreak, health ministry warns

By Le Nga   October 24, 2021 | 11:24 pm PT
High chance of new Covid outbreak, health ministry warns
People line up to be vaccinated against Covid-19 in HCMC's Thu Duc City, October 16, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
While the pandemic has been largely contained across southern industrial hubs, concerns are rising with new hotspots reported in other areas, the health ministry said.

"We're worried about new outbreaks in the coming time. Localities need to remain vigilant," Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said Sunday.

While important areas like Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong, Long An and Dong Nai have largely brought the coronavirus under control, the influx of people leaving major cities for their hometowns have sparked new outbreaks in these areas, including the northern Phu Tho, Thanh Hoa, Nam Dinh and other provinces in the Mekong Delta.

Long calls for localities to manage returnees carefully so cases could be quickly detected.

"The most important thing is to keep the pandemic under control so there would be no future outbreaks," he said, requesting authorities to ramp up vaccination efforts and timely update people’s vaccination status.

Medical treatment capabilities must also be ensured, with enough beds, ventilators, oxygen canisters and other necessary equipment to minimize the number of deaths. Medical personnel must be trained properly too.

Long said cities and provinces must try to meet Covid-19 control standards themselves, and not entirely depend on support from elsewhere.

As Vietnam enters the "new normal", the health ministry would evaluate coronavirus risks across communes and wards to limit the impact on socio-economic development. Hospitals would also only perform Covid-19 screening on those with symptoms.

Long further noted that areas need to limit quarantine and isolation, confining patients within a small area. Within such zones, tests should be performed constantly, he added.

"Minimize isolation within the smallest possible areas, preventing them from impacting people’s daily lives, socio-economic development and wasting resources," he said.

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