Omicron now the dominant variant in HCM City
HCM City, February 24 (VNA) – New COVID-19 infections have been on the rise in Ho Chi Minh City in recent days, and Omicron is currently the dominant variant here, according to the city’s centre for disease control (HCDC). The southern hub of Vietnam recorded 1,356 new infections and 334 cases of hospitalisation on February 22, both higher than the previous days, but the numbers of severe cases and deaths are still low. The HCDC said from February 10 to 17, 70 of the 92 samples sent to the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU) and the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, equivalent to 76 percent, tested positive for Omicron. Gene sequencing results also showed that all the 26 samples randomly selected from those 70 samples were positive to this variant. Facing the spread of Omicron, HCM City is stepping up anti-pandemic measures, including the second phase of the spring vaccination campaign, scheduled to wrap up at the end of February, during which it has administered the first dose to more than 6,000 people, the second to over 26,000, and additional and booster to over 85,000. The HCDC said vaccination is a critically important measure for enhancing the immunity against Omicron. The city is also working to promote the protection of vulnerable groups, including obese children. Tang Chi Thuong, Director of the municipal Health Department, said during February 14 - 22, the number of children infected with COVID-19 tripled from the previous seven days, from February 7 to 13. The department is keeping a close watch on new infections and severe cases needing respiratory support to advise the municipal People’s Committee about whether or not in-person learning should be suspended, he said, adding that there are five child patients in need of respiratory support each day./.