The COVID-19 outbreak remains complicated in the capital city as hundreds of new cases have been confirmed on a daily basis in almost all districts over the past few days.
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Data unveiled by the Hanoi Centre for Diseases Control show 791 people were diagnosed with the virus on December 3, a record high figure since the start of the outbreak. December 6 also saw 776 confirmed, with nearly half of them detected in the community.
The municipal administration on December 6 requested its districts to review COVID-19-19 developments and adjust prevention and control measures based on the COVID-19 four-alert levels adopted by the Ministry of Health.
It is considering suspending non-essential services such as food services, events with large gatherings of people among others if the daily number of new virus infections keeps rising.
Since the city moved into a new normal, many outbreaks have occurred in the community with unknown clusters of infections. Worryingly, large numbers of local people show apathy toward disease prevention and control.
Indeed, many coffee shops and food eateries have neglected COVID-19 guidelines by opening late and not requesting customers to sit apart. Similarly, trading centres have been crowded with visitors and shoppers on weekends paying no heed to regulations on maintaining a safe distance.
People think that by having received two doses of the vaccine, they can safely travel without getting infection anymore, according to a health official.
In addition, many sidewalk cafes have reopened, attracting large numbers of drinkers gathering in groups and chatting without wearing masks or complying with other regulations.
Assoc. Prof. & Dr. Tran Dac Phu, former director of the Preventive Medicine Department under the Ministry of Health, pointed out that when life returns to normal, people have to accept living with the virus.
However, he warned a sharp increase in infection numbers shows many people have not strictly followed epidemic prevention recommendations, including the 5K message.
“It is imperative to control the number of new infections, especially critically ill cases, otherwise it will overload the health system,” he said.
Along with complying with COVID-19 guidelines, Phu said vaccinations should be accelerated, especially among high-risk groups such as the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions.
“We should also be highly vigilant against the intrusion of the newly mutated variant Omicron which is spreading across the globe including Southeast Asia,” the health professional warned.