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Gene sequencing finds new coronavirus Omicron subvariants in Hanoi

Local health agencies have been asked to join medical facilities to monitor and collect SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic specimens and send them to Centers for Disease Control for gene sequencing.

The request was made at a time when the number of new infection cases has risen again. Hanoi has detected several cases of Omicron BA.5 subvariant. Its vaccination rate is among the lowest in the country. The city records 140-160 new cases a day on average, according to the Hanoi Health Department’s document. However, CDC Hanoi reported that the number of infections is increasing again.

Thanh Nhan Hospital in the last two weeks has reported a rise of hospitalized Covid-19 patients, from 4-5 to 20 cases today. Many of them have had 2-3 vaccine doses. Some patients who once contracted Covid-19 test positive.

Bach Mai Hospital has recognized the first cases in Vietnam infected with Omicron BA.5 in the community.

In this situation, the local health department has requested CDC Hanoi to intensify the guidance, inspection and supervision of infections; cooperate with local medical facilities to carry out major surveillance activities; and give professional guidance to local medical facilities on Oropharyngeal sampling of the cases with positive rapid antigen test results for SARS-CoV-2.

Receiving, selecting and monitoring the gene sequencing; coordinating with other units and sending samples to units capable of performing gene sequencing tests according to the Ministry of Health’s instructions are also the tasks reminded by the health department.

Some major public hospitals have been asked to join CDC and district-level medical centers to keep watch over the pandemic developments and discover new variants of coronavirus. Hospitals have been asked to get ready to receive and treat Covid-19 patients.

The representative of the World Healthy Organization (WHO) in Vietnam said BA.4 and BA.5 are more contagious and affirmed that the vaccines now in use have effects in fighting BA.4 and BA.5.

On July 5, the Health Ministry informed that Hanoi is among the localities with low rates of 2nd booster injections (4th dose) for people aged 18 and over, and of 3rd injection for children 12-17 years old - 15.7 percent and less than 5 percent, respectively.

Thanh Hien

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