01.12.2021, 19:35

Old lessons in the face of new variant

Old lessons in the face of new variant

People should maintain the application of the 5K message in collaboration with full vaccination against COVID-19. (Photo: NDO)   

NDO - While the Delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is still raging throughout Asia and Europe, the world faces great concerns from a new variant named Omicron that has just emerged.

Shortly after the new variant was first reported in South Africa, the World Health Organisation declared Omicron a “variant of concern”. Scientists are “racing” to assess how dangerous the new variant really is. However, based on the initial information of its spread (500% more infectious than Delta) and the risk of re-infection, health experts said that chances of Omicron spreading globally is very high.

Several countries immediately took strong measures to prevent the spread of the new variant, even imposing travel restrictions and banning entry for people from South Africa and five neighbouring countries.

In Vietnam, the Ministry of Health said that through epidemiological monitoring of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, no COVID-19 cases with the Omicron variant have been recorded. However, with the response measures that many countries are applying, Vietnam should immediately take appropriate and effective measures. The lessons in response to the recent fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, proved that the country needs to respond with quick actions.

First of all, specialised agencies are required to strictly follow the direction of the Ministry of Health on strengthening supervision and early detection of abnormal signs of COVID-19 outbreak clusters, as well as proactively carry out genetic sequencing of suspected infections with new variants, notably those with epidemiological history returning from countries in the southern Africa region. The Ministry needs to contribute to closely working with the WHO and national focal agencies to implement International Health Regulations to promptly inform of the variants related to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and take appropriate measures in epidemic prevention and control.

The fight against the pandemic requires the cooperation from relevant sectors to strictly control people from overseas entering Vietnam, especially those from countries and regions that are suffering from the spread of the Omicron variant.

Localities should proactively develop specific and feasible scenarios in response to the COVID-19 situation and ensure safe and flexible adaptation while maintaining effective control of the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than ever, it is necessary to put people and businesses in central positions and take the grassroots level as the foundation for epidemic prevention and control. The functional agencies must carry out surveillance and early detection of suspected cases of COVID-19 within the community as well as cases of cough or fever in order to promptly localise, isolate and thoroughly handle the outbreaks.

In addition, people should comply with the regulations and instructions of the health sector, try to change their unsuitable habits and hobbies and maintain the application of the 5K message in collaboration with full vaccination against COVID-19. Epidemiologists affirmed that the strict implementation of the 5K message can completely limit the risk of the virus spreading.