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May 07, 2023 / 08:06

Hanoi sequences genes, detects no new Covid-19 variants

The move aims to keep an eye on the disease situation for better monitoring.

The Hanoi Center for Disease Control (CDC Hanoi) has sequenced genes for early detection and control of new variants of SARS-CoV-2, according to Vu Cao Cuong, Deputy Director of the Hanoi Department of Health.

The results of gene sequencing of 36 samples infected with the novel coronavirus showed that 100% of the samples belonged to the Omicron strain, in which the XBB.1.5 variant dominated 44.8%.

In addition, local health authorities were asked to collaborate with medical facilities to collect SARS-CoV-2 samples and send them to Hanoi CDC for gene sequencing.

The move comes as the number of new cases of Covid-19 infection in the capital has risen again recently.  

In a telephone interview with The Hanoi Times, Tran Thi Nhi Ha, Director of the Hanoi Department of Health, said that Thanh Nhan Hospital in Hai Ba Trung District has reported an increase in the number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients over the past two weeks, about 10 to 15 cases per day.

Most of them are young people with symptoms such as fever, cough, and sore throat, although they have already been injected with two or three doses of the vaccine.

"In view of this situation, we have asked CDC Hanoi to intensify guidance, inspection, and monitoring of infections; to work with local medical facilities to conduct extensive surveillance activities; and to provide professional guidance to local medical facilities on oropharyngeal sampling of cases with positive rapid antigen test results for the virus," Ha said.

At a research laboratory of the CDC Hanoi. Photo: The Hanoi Times

"In addition, some major public hospitals have been asked to join the Hanoi CDC and district-level medical centers to monitor the evolution of the epidemic and discover new variants of the novel coronavirus. Hospitals have been asked to prepare to receive and treat Covid-19 patients," the director stressed.

She noted that no new variant after Omicron has yet been detected. However, the BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants of Omicron are more contagious, and the vaccines that Hanoi's health department is administering to local residents are effective in preventing these two sub-variants.

On this occasion, Ha said Hanoi has taken strong measures to reduce the infection. It will continue to administer Covid-19 vaccination to children aged 5 to under 12 years and people aged 18 years and above," she said, advising people to get booster shots and continue to follow prevention protocols

At the same time, health authorities continue to pay special attention to high-risk groups, pregnant women, and unvaccinated children. "In any case, we must have a clear roadmap to turn Covid-19 into a common disease with regular medical checkups and treatment," she emphasized.

She added that the Hanoi Department of Health has set up an interdisciplinary working group to check and report to the city government on a daily basis to ensure the efficiency of the work and students’ examinations at the end of the school year.

According to the Ministry of Health, to ensure safety and minimize the risk of infection with Covid-19 and other diseases, medical examination and treatment facilities strictly adhere to measures to control the spread of diseases.

So far, the death toll remained at more than 43,000, or 0.4% of the total infections, as few deaths were reported recently.

The country recorded the total number of doses administered at nearly 266 million with a high rate of people given third and fourth doses.