‘Severe cases, deaths may increase when the number of infections explodes after Tet’

Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Truong Son said that the demand for travel and exchanges during the Lunar New Year holiday in the context of the country is gradually reopening activities, leading to an increase in the number of Covid-19 infections.

Answer VnExpress On February 8, Deputy Minister Son acknowledged that the epidemic was basically under control across the country, with the number of severe cases and deaths tending to decrease. However, the number of infections is increasing after Tet, the risk of disease spread in the community when Omicron mutations appear and the opening of social activities, recovery and economic development.

“If left unchecked, the excessive number of infections will increase the number of severe cases, increase the number of hospital admissions, and put great pressure on the health system, especially affecting high-risk groups such as the elderly, people with medical conditions, and the elderly. background,” warned Deputy Minister Son.

In the early days of the Year of the Tiger, Vietnam recorded a sharp decrease in the number of Covid-19 cases, from more than 15,000 to about 8,500 cases per day. However, from the 4th of the Lunar New Year until now, the number of infections is gradually increasing again, by the 7th to nearly 17,000 cases. On the evening of February 8, the number of infections nationwide reached nearly 22,000, the highest since October in the context of adaptation. In total, over the past week, the Ministry of Health has announced nearly 100,000 infections.

The number of severe cases has tended to decrease sharply, recently maintaining at over 2,000 cases per day, while last month was always more than 3,000-4,000. The number of serious and critical cases last week decreased by more than 27% compared to the previous week. Compared with the same period last year, the total number of deaths in a week decreased by 246 cases.

Experts also predict that the number of Covid-19 cases will increase after the Tet holiday. However, they said that the situation was “not yet worrisome”, people need to continue to adhere to 5K well to avoid the risk of creating a new wave of epidemics.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tran Dac Phu (former Director of Preventive Medicine Department, Ministry of Health) said that the first reason for the increase in the number of Covid cases was the Tet holiday with many festivals, meetings and crowded contact, which increased the risk of infection. . Second, after Tet, the number of workers return to the city to continue working; Students are allowed to return to school, leading to a higher demand for testing, “the more tested, the more new infections are detected”. In addition, Vietnam is also loosening, flexibly adapting, and being safer against the epidemic.

Mr. Phu also agreed with Deputy Minister Son, that “the number of infections has increased, but the epidemic is still under control”. In addition, he said that the number of severe cases is not too many because the vaccine coverage is wide across the country. More than 182 million doses of vaccine have been administered, of which 79 million doses are administered in the first dose, 74 million doses in the second injection, and 29 million doses in the 3rd dose (additional/reinforced injection and 3 basic doses). Moreover, Vietnam has had a lot of experience in epidemic prevention and treatment through epidemics.

Experts are quite optimistic when forecast the epidemic situation in the near future. According to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Do Van Dung (Dean of the Faculty of Public Health, University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Ho Chi Minh City), if people maintain good practice of 5K, the number of infections will increase in a short time and then gradually decrease, without creating a lane. new epidemic wave, due to the high rate of vaccination in the population.

“However, if people subjectively do not comply with 5K, people with the disease do not self-isolate, and still travel freely, the epidemic is likely to re-emerge,” said Associate Professor Dung.

In fact, Vietnam has recorded many outbreaks of disease after long holidays. After the Lunar New Year last year, the third wave of epidemics broke out with more than 1,300 infections, spreading to the community in 13 provinces and cities. After the holiday of April 30, 2021, the 4th epidemic broke out strongly with the Delta mutation, Vietnam entered the most painful and fiercest phase in the fight against Covid. At that time, the vaccine did not cover much, the epidemic quickly spread throughout the country with the number of infections and deaths skyrocketing, many times higher than all previous figures. To date, the total number of infections in the 4th outbreak has reached more than 2.3 million, accounting for approximately 99.7% of the total number of infections, and the epidemic has not ended.

Around the world, at the beginning of April last year, after 3.5 million people soaked in the Ganges River festival, India recorded a super-infectious cluster with more than 2,000 cases a day. At that time, neighboring countries such as Cambodia and Thailand also recorded outbreaks of disease due to subjectivity, not wearing masks and festival events with too many people.

These are anti-epidemic lessons cited by experts to warn of the risk of outbreaks from crowded events, and forecast a high number of domestic infections after Tet this year.

Tam Chuc pagoda, Kim Bang district, Ha Nam, crowded on February 5. Photo: Pham Chieu

Treat Covid like a common disease

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Tien Dung (former Head of Pediatrics Department, Bach Mai Hospital) recommends that people should consider Covid-19 as a disease in the conventional health system so as not to worry too much, focus on treatment if unfortunately sick. “Most people have understood about the disease, Covid-19 is not as severe as we thought before, it can be treated at home,” the associate professor said. It is important to control the number of critically ill and critically ill patients as well as deaths from Covid-19, strengthen vaccination, protect the elderly, and many underlying diseases.

As for the new strain Omicron, experts say that it is not too worried, due to the mild disease manifestation. The authorities and authorities should not be subjective, but they should not worry too much and ban unreasonable restrictions. After two years of fighting the epidemic, Covid-19 is no longer a strange thing, the measures taken should be considered so as not to negatively affect life as well as the economy and society.

According to Mr. Phu, people actively monitor their health, if there are signs of doubt, they can quickly test Covid at home, declare and treat. People with background disease, old age or unvaccinated need to actively protect themselves. However, do not panic, worry and carry negative psychology if unfortunately yourself and your family members are infected. “There should also be no widespread, costly and unnecessary testing,” advised Mr. Phu.

Associate Professor Dung said that some people who go back to their hometown to play and travel for Tet holiday, when they return, often have the mentality of hiding their illness. “It is necessary to understand that if you have an illness, you should declare and follow the isolation to avoid spreading the disease to the community,” said Associate Professor Dung, emphasizing that “always applying 5K measures can make you uncomfortable but It also does not affect lives and livelihoods, but being subjective for the epidemic to re-emerge and re-implement social distancing will cause many difficulties to life and the economy.”

The Ministry of Health recently asked localities to continue to raise the highest level of vigilance against the Covid-19 epidemic, especially with the new strain Omicron, not to be subjective and negligent in epidemic prevention. Accordingly, it is necessary to monitor and early detect suspected cases of nCoV infection in the community to promptly localize, isolate and handle thoroughly; at the same time deploying medical activities, avoiding cross-infection during isolation and blockade; strictly manage imported cases… Provinces and cities continue to implement spring vaccination campaigns.

Thuy An – Le Phuong


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