Vietnam News

Vietnam detects Omicron subvariant BA.5

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Phan Trong Lan, head of the General Department of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry of Health, said Monday that Vietnam has detected the Omicron subvariant BA.5, but did not elaborate.

Revealing the information at a Health Ministry press meet, Lan said the emergence of new strains was inevitable as a result of the reopening of the economy and the new normal situation of relaxed precautionary protocols.

The BA.5 subvariant was first detected in South Africa in January. Since then, it has become a common strain in several countries including Israel, Germany and others.

Some studies show that the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants spread faster than the previous one, BA.2, but there is no evidence yet of its severity.

The health ministry has said it continues to monitor new strains and World Health Organization (WHO) information, adjusting and implementing measures to prevent and control the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The new strain emerged as Vietnam recorded 142,000 Covid cases in the past two months, but the death rate has been low and the outbreak is still under control.

The ministry said that from March until now, the number of new Covid-19 cases and deaths has “stably decreased,” and the number officially registered with the national database has stayed at fewer than 1,000 cases each day in recent times while the death rate has fallen to 0.06 percent of the total number of infections.

Vietnam has covered almost 80 percent of its 96-million population with two vaccine doses; and the group of those from five years old are to receive the second doses within June.

The health ministry had said recently that it was still not the right time for Vietnam to consider Covid-19 endemic though the situation has stabilized somewhat.

Although the number of Covid cases and deaths has been decreasing globally, experts believe the situation remains complicated in some areas, and many countries are concerned about a new wave emerging this summer.

The WHO has said that the world is still in the pandemic stage and the Omicron variant may continue to mutate, so countries must maintain vaccination and surveillance.

Lan said Vietnam concurs with the WHO that vaccines remain an important tool in stopping the pandemic and people should get vaccinated with the proper dose.

By Chi Le – VnExpress.net – June 27, 2022

Vietnam detects Omicron subvariant BA.5
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