Apathy could lead to fresh COVID-19 outbreak after Lunar New Year

VOV.VN - Health experts have warned that Vietnam is likely to run a high risk of the SARS-CoV-2 virus spreading rapidly within the local community as citizens are heading back to major cities to work after the Lunar New Year holiday.

Statistics from the Ministry of Health indicate that the daily number of new local COVID-19 infections has increased significantly over the past few days after falling to more than 8,000 during the nine-day Lunar New Year break, known locally as Tet.

One day on following a massive influx of people returning back to work, the COVID-19 caseload on February 7 alone skyrocketed to roughly 17,000 infections recorded in 62 out of 63 cities and provinces nationwide.

“The number of people exposed to the virus is likely to go up in the coming days, because many people returned home for family reunion or travel during the holiday and they now came back to the city for work,” says Assoc. Prof. Dr. Do Van Dung of the Ho Chi Minh City Medicine and Pharmacy University.

“If people do not strictly follow COVID-19 recommendations, for instance not making a health declaration, or not getting tested after having contact with high-risk groups, they would probably transmit the virus to others, especially elderly people and those with underlying diseases,” he warned.

Sharing this viewpoint, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Vu Minh Phuc of the Ho Chi Minh City Medicine and Pharmacy University noted that an increase in infection numbers is inevitable, particularly as people return to major cities. This is in addition to the start of spring festivals and the reopening of regular international commercial flights in the near future.

“The number of COVID-19 cases is likely to increase but will be kept in check if people strictly adhere to prevention and control measures, especially wearing masks,” Assoc. Prof. Dr. Phuc suggests.

Along with strictly following health recommendations, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Dung also suggests that the health sector and localities keep a close watch on the Omicron variant amid its continued spread across the country.

“Despite a rather high vaccination coverage, inoculated people may get infected with the virus, and it is dangerous if the number of Omicron cases increases rapidly in the community,” said the professional.

At present, Vietnam has recorded a total of 192 Omicron cases across 16 cities and provinces, including 92 cases in Ho Chi Minh City, 27 in Quang Nam, 20 in Quang Ninh, and 14 in Hanoi.