Health ministry asked to amend COVID-19 risk level assessment criteria

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An old man in Hà Nội is vaccinated against COVID-19 at home. Vaccination coverage is one of the criteria for the assessment of pandemic risk levels. — VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam has asked the Ministry of Health to promptly review and amend guidelines on COVID-19 risk level assessment criteria.

The ministry has also been urged to provide specific instruction on the usage of COVID-19 drugs, including anti-viral treatments.

The current criteria pandemic risk levels are: new confirmed cases in the community over time (Criteria 1); vaccination coverage (Criteria 2); and treatment capacity of medical and treatment establishments (Criteria 3). In case the locality fails to satisfy Criteria 3, the pandemic risk level shall remain the same.

Localities are responsible for evaluating disease risk levels of every district and commune. Current levels are posted at https://capdodich.yte.gov.vn/map.

However, the criteria on new community cases among 100,000 residents per week has become inefficient, according to Deputy Minister of Health Nguyễn Trường Sơn. Instead, Việt Nam has shifted focus towards the number of critically ill patients, hospital admissions, fatalities and local treatment capacity to evaluate pandemic risks.

Thanks to high vaccination coverage rates and the effective control of the spread of COVID-19, the daily count of new infections no longer plays an important role.

It has been suggested that medical sectors and localities categorise critically ill patients and fatalities under different criteria, such as vaccinated, not vaccinated, chronically ill, or late hospitalisation. — VNS

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