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Omicron sub-variants BA.4, BA.5 detected in Ho Chi Minh City: Party chief

Omicron sub-variants BA.4, BA.5 detected in Ho Chi Minh City: Party chief

Tuesday, July 05, 2022, 12:43 GMT+7
Omicron sub-variants BA.4, BA.5 detected in Ho Chi Minh City: Party chief
Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Nguyen Van Nen speaks at a conference on July 5, 2022. Photo: Huu Hanh / Tuoi Tre

Ho Chi Minh City recorded three COVID-19 infections caused by the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 sub-lineages, said secretary of the municipal Party Committee Nguyen Van Nen at a conference on Tuesday morning.

One case was documented in Cu Chi District and the two others were discovered in Thu Duc City via random screening, according to Nen.

Last week, the Hanoi Department of Health reported that the recent gene sequencing results of Bach Mai Hospital detected three people in the capital city infected with the BA.5 sub-variant, which can spread faster than other circulating variants such as BA.1 and BA.2, but there has not been clear evidence of its severity.

Ho Chi Minh City Party chief Nen thus called for wariness about the complexity of the two BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants “even when they are not as dangerous as the previous Delta variant.”

“We must not let our guard down, not be complacent in any case,” Nen said.

The new strains emerged as Ho Chi Minh City is grappling with a surge in dengue fever cases.

The southern metropolis has registered 21,750 dengue fever patients since the beginning of this year, including 11 deaths, according to the local Center for Disease Control.

The infection number represents a jump of 181.5 percent from the same period last year.

Nen requested the city’s medical authorities to find more effective and drastic measures to tackle dengue in order to avoid the concurrence of two epidemics and the recurrence of a severe COVID-19 outbreak like the one that happened around this time last year.

Speaking at Tuesday’s meeting, deputy chief of the office of the municipal health department Le Thien Quynh Nhu reminded people to get COVID-19 vaccine booster shots every six months.

“Vaccination is very effective in reducing severe symptoms and mortality,” Nhu stated.

Vietnam has recorded around 26,700 COVID-19 cases in the past four weeks, with Phan Trong Lan, head of the General Department of Preventive Medicine, reporting last month that the BA.2 sub-lineage had dominated the new infections.

The number officially registered on the national database has stayed at fewer than 1,000 cases a day in recent times while the death rate fell to 0.4 percent on Monday from 1.03 percent in January.

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