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Feb 24, 2022 / 23:35

Vietnam Covid-19 infections surpass 3 million

Vietnam has put vaccination and the availability of Covid-19 drug as the core of the antipandemic strategy in the coming time.

The number of Covid-19 cases in Vietnam reached 3,041,506 as of Feb 24, of them, 77% have recovered.

 Inside Covid-19 Hospital in Hanoi, the biggest of its kind in northern Vietnam. Photos: Khanh Huy/The Hanoi Times

Covid-19 has claimed 39,884 lives in the country. In other words, the rate of fatalities accounts for 1.3% of the total infections.

Currently, Covid-19 hits all 63 cities and provinces nationwide with Hanoi being the most affected. So far, the city has confirmed more than 270,000 cases, with an average daily number of 5,000 for the past week.

According to Director of the Hanoi’s Department of Health Tran Thi Nhi Ha, up to 98% of the city’s Covid-19 patients are treated at home. She said the majority of the cases are asymptomatic and with mild symptoms. 

The remaining 2% are treated in hospitals, including the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases, the Hanoi Medical University Hospital, and the Covid-19 Hospital – the largest premise of its kind in the north of Vietnam.

Ha said the growing number of cases is anticipated following the resumption of recreation activities, but the city will focus on treating critical cases to minimize fatalities. She said deaths account for 0.4% of the total caseload.

The health official said the city also prioritizes home treatment with different support from various channels namely community Covid groups, youth unions, women’s unions, hotlines, chat groups led by health workers, and the assistance by retired doctors, volunteers in the pandemic fight.

Meanwhile, Secretary of the Hanoi’s Party Committee Dinh Tien Dung affirmed that the additional 5,000 cases daily have not overwhelmed the municipal health system. He said the local health sector’s missions include vaccination and improving the medical system in the year to come.

 Cinemas reopened in Hanoi on Feb 10. 

To deal with the surging caseload, the prime minister has asked the Ministry of Health and local authorities to speed up the vaccination campaign calling it the Spring Immunization Campaign which targets to complete providing booster shots to adults aged above 18 nationwide in the first quarter of this year.

In addition, all children between 12 and 17 years of age would get the second injection within February 2022.

Vietnam has identified vaccination as the key to the recovery plans and is preparing for the inoculation of children aged 5-11.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh told local authorities that the vaccination would be essential for bringing children back to schools after months of closure and for the reopening of the economy.

Concerning the soaring number of cases recently, Assoc. Prof. Tran Dac Phu, senior advisor to the Vietnam Public Health Emergency Operations Center (PHEOC) shared with The Hanoi Times that the possibility of overloading would happen when the community infections are on the rise in many localities, especially in Hanoi. The high caseload would lead to the rising number of severe and fatal cases. For that reason, the health sector needs to focus on the elderly group and those with underlying diseases and provide timely support to avoid fatalities.

From the above approach, the doctor said the number of daily infections remains important data to assess the epidemic level as well as to build prevention plans. It is not necessary for localities to publish this data daily, but detailed response scenarios should be based on the data, he noted.

Another approach in the face of rising cases is the availability of Covid-19 drug. Some local firms are ready to supply to the market. Boston Pharma and FPT Long Chau have produced and stockpiled about three million pills of antiviral Molnupiravir.

Boston Pharma’s General Director Luong Dang Khoa said the company is capable of producing 30-60 million pills of Molnupiravir per month.