The capital is likely to face a high risk of COVID-19 spreading on a large scale during the upcoming New Year and Lunar New Year holidays, warned Assoc. Prof., Dr. Tran Dac Phu, former director of the Preventive Medicine Department.
|Hanoi’s daily caseload has skyrocketed these days, hitting 1,704 on December 21.|
The past week has seen Hanoi consistently detect more than 1,000 daily COVID-19 cases, with its daily count peaking at 1,704 infections on December 21 alone. Overall, it has recorded more than 32,000 cases since the reemergence of the virus in late April, of which one third were diagnosed within the local community. Fortunately, the majority of infections are mild and asymptomatic.
The sharp increase in infection numbers can be viewed as ‘acceptable’ as the capital is implementing a Government resolution on flexible and safe adaption to and effective control of COVID-19, in order to facilitate greater business production and trade exchanges, said Phu.
However, he warned Hanoi’s healthcare system could potentially be overloaded unless the capital adopts measures aimed at halting the spread of the virus. In addition, the rapid infection rate also means more F0 cases will be admitted to hospital, and deaths are set to increase as a consequence.
To slow the spread of the virus, the health professional recommended that Hanoi suspend non-essential activities in high-risk areas, minimise large gatherings in closed rooms, and restrict entertainment activities during the coming New Year and Lunar New year holidays. These measures should also be considered for spring festivals next year.
“Besides management tools, the city should also warn local people to strictly follow the Health Ministry’s 5K message plus vaccination, and restrict year-end parties,” said Phu.
During the upcoming nine-day Lunar New Year holiday, he recommended that local people avoid visiting each other in large crowds and limit contact with the elderly, children, and people suffering from underlying illnesses.
He underlined the importance of the grassroots-level healthcare system, saying the capacity building of mobile medical centres and commune-level medical centres should be enhanced in order to timely monitor and provide treatment to F0 cases.
He also advised Hanoi to speed up COVID-19 vaccinations, including offering booster jabs, along with drawing up response plans in the event that Omicron cases are recorded.
Consecutively from November 3 to the present, the capital has recorded more than 100 new local COVID-19 cases each day.