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New Covid wave in Vietnam unlikely: experts

By Chi Le   July 28, 2022 | 04:58 pm PT
New Covid wave in Vietnam unlikely: experts
Severe Covid-19 patients at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi, July 25, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Son
Though the number of daily infections and severe cases keeps rising, experts said it is implausible for Vietnam to experience another Covid-19 wave.

In the week between July 18 and 24, Vietnam recorded 329 serious Covid-19 cases that must be hospitalized for treatment, up 73 percent from the previous week.

Between July 21 and 27, the average daily infections stayed at 1,327, with 2,676 cases recorded on Wednesday alone, according to the Ministry of Health.

At the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases, the number of severe Covid-19 cases in the past week rose four to five times compared to previous months.

If it received just several severe cases in May and June, the hospital currently treats 25 Covid-19 patients in serious condition and reliant on ventilators. In most cases, they are patients with chronic diseases.

Hanoi Medical University Hospital is currently treating 21 patients in medium to severe conditions while the number of Covid-19 hospitalizations has increased by five cases per day in the past week. The hospital predicted admissions would keep rising in the coming time.

Given the increase in cases, doctors advised that the public should stay calm but not negligent.

Dr. Quan The Dan, who directly joined medical forces to fight Covid-19 in Ho Chi Minh City, the epicenter of Vietnam's fourth wave last year, said "a deadly wave that caused a crisis for the entire society will never happen again" and warned the people to stay calm.

The fourth Covid-19 wave was by far the worst and most challenging Vietnam had ever faced. Since the wave started on April 27, lasting until mid-November last year, HCMC had recorded 17,263 deaths, or 74 percent of the national figure during that period.

Dan said the novel coronavirus has evolved into different variants but the virulence causing severe illness and mortality has reduced.

In addition, though vaccines have reduced effectiveness, they are still of high value in preventing disease progression and death.

At the same time, medics have gained more and more experience in treating severe cases and there are now anti-viral drugs to treat the disease, he said.

"With scientific knowledge and past experience, Covid-19 could continue to create new outbreaks with new variants but its harmfulness will decrease over time, and eventually, the disease will probably become a seasonal illness like the flu," said Dan.

Yet experts still advised the public to follow prevention protocols like wearing masks and getting vaccinated.

Tran Dac Phu, a senior advisor at Public Health Emergency Operations Center, said the recent increase of Covid-19 cases is partly due to negligent people thinking the situation has been brought under control.

He said people have started to drop their masks deliberately and no longer test or isolate themselves when experiencing Covid-like symptoms.

He suggested the healthcare sector continue to evaluate conditions for timely response should any outbreaks occur, including encouraging people to get the booster shot.

Nguyen Trung Cap, deputy director of the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases, said "for Covid-19 and coronavirus in general, immunity, created either by vaccination or infection, is unstable. We can contract it again and again after a few months."

He said people that have yet to get vaccinated tend to suffer more severe conditions, urging people to get fully vaccinated and boosted.

 
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