HCM City randomly conduct genome sequencing for Omicron variant

VOV.VN - Ho Chi Minh City is randomly conducting genome sequencing of positive test samples for the emergence of the Omicron variant in the community, said an official of the municipal Department of Health.

Most of the Omicron cases show mild symptoms, so genome sequencing is needed to see if the variant is present in the community, said the official, adding epidemiologists will pick up samples at hospitals and schools as well as severe and mild cases at random for the scheme.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Do Van Dung, from Ho Chi Minh City University of Medicine and Pharmacy, speculated that the current sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City in particular may not be caused by the Omicron mutation.

“If this increase is resulted from the Delta mutation, people strictly adhere to the 5K practice, the number of infections is likely to decrease. On the contrary, if this increase is related to the Omicron variant, infection cases will tend to increase,” said Assoc. Prof. Dr. Dung.

Besides the 5K practice, the health professional said accelerating the injection of the additional/booster jab will help people better protect themselves from virus infection.

“While Omicron is still causing public concern globally, Vietnam cannot consider COVID-19 as an endemic disease,” he said.

According to the HCM City Department of Health, the city has so far recorded 183 Omicron cases, of which 11 were diagnosed in the community and 172 were imported cases.