Covid-19 cases surging again

Cases of Covid-19 are surging again in provinces and cities nationwide, due to the rise of Omicron sub-variants, including BA.4, BA.5, BA.2.75, BA.2.12.1.
Covid-19 cases surging again ảnh 1 A severe Covid-19 patient is being treated at Cho Ray Hospital.

The Ministry of Health has recorded around 2,700 new Covid-19 cases per day and many hospitalized patients with severe symptoms.

Cho Ray Hospital in HCMC has currently provided treatment for 41 Covid-19 patients, including 21 severe cases, said Dr. Ton That Quang Thang of the Department for Tropical Disease.

More than 60 percent of patients have been transferred from neighboring localities. Among patients under treatment, 3-4 severe patients at increased risk of illness from Covid-19 have to receive extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) support every day. The fatality rate is 30 percent, especially for those over 70, patients with underlying medical conditions and people who did not get vaccinated against the virus or receive enough vaccine shots, Dr. Thang added.

A rise in the number of new Covid-19 infections has been also seen in HCMC’s Children Hospital 2 and National Hospital of Tropical Diseases.

According to medical experts, field hospitals and local healthcare facilities for the treatment of Covid-19 patients were closed while effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2 infection decreased gradually with time from inoculation in those vaccinated six months prior, leading to an increase in the number of new infections as well as critical cases.

In addition, Covid-19 cases in provinces and cities have risen in recent weeks as the new variant continues to spread throughout the country.

Last week, the country reported about 18,400 Covid-19 cases, presenting an average number of 2,700 cases per day, according to the Ministry of Health. Meanwhile, there were 1-2 Covid-19 deaths a day.

The Ministry of Health underlined the complicated development of the pandemic and the rising number of infections inside the country and noted the pace of Covid-19 vaccination among particular groups has been slow in localities, especially the first and second shot for kids from 5 to under 12, and booster shots for children aged 12 to 17, a population over 50 years old and people at the risk of serious illness.

The Health Ministry asked provinces and cities, hospitals throughout the country to strengthen receiving and offering Covid-19 treatment to patients; assigning healthcare workers to monitor and take care of hospitalized patients infected with Covid-19 in order to prevent severe illness and death among those exposed to the virus, and transferring patients to major hospitals.

Vice Chairman of the HCMC People’s Committee Duong Anh Duc asked Chairmen of the People’s Committees of districts and Thu Duc City to direct and well prepare for the outbreak to ensure an effective provision of medical services and treatment for residents immediately.

The Covid-19 situation in the country in general and HCMC particularly has still developed complicatedly while the number of new and severe cases is increasing. Last week, the city saw an increase of 160 cases and 74 hospitalized patients per day. Among patients under treatment, there are 13 patients at increased risk of severe illness from Covid-19 who received extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) support, said Associate Professor, Ph.D., Director of the HCMC Department of Health Tang Chi Thuong.

The Department of Health asked the 115 Emergency Center and hospitals to closely coordinate in receiving, providing emergency assistance and transferring Covid-19 patients.

Covid-19 vaccines are effective in preventing severe infection, but protection wanes after 6 months. People have to strictly abide by the V2K protocol meaning vaccination, mask (khau trang) and hand washing (khu khuan) in Covid-19 fight. Meanwhile, the city needs to boost vaccination, especially for people with underlying medical conditions, with the appearance of new variant strains with several mutations in the virus, said Dr. Le Quoc Hung, Head of the Department for Tropical Disease of Cho Ray Hospital.