Opening the teleconference with the 63 localities nationwide, PM Chinh, who is also head of the committee, pointed out that the pandemic remains unpredictable around the world with the emergence of the BA.5 sub-variant of Omicron in many countries.
In Vietnam, after the pandemic was brought under control nationwide, some have lowered their guard, especially in vaccination, while authorities have shown slackness in examination. Meanwhile, the country still has to fight against other disease outbreaks and care for people’s health amid the shortage of medicine and medical supplies, he added.
Since the start of 2022, Vietnam has recorded over 9 million infections of COVID-19, more than 8.3 million of whom have recovered and over 10,000 succumbed to the coronavirus disease (equivalent to 0.1%).
Total infections now stand at 10,748,639, including 9,708,984 recoveries (90.3%) and 43,087 deaths (0.4%), according to the national steering committee.
Over the last six months, the daily number of new cases was around 600 - 700 while severe cases and fatalities continued to decline. During the last 30 days, the numbers of new infections and deaths have respectively fallen by 4.5 times and 10 times compared to the previous month, and Vietnam recorded no deaths in 24 days.
By the end of July 3, Vietnam had administered over 233 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine with almost 80% of its population given two shots, the rate of people aged 18 and above given the third shot doubling the global average, and the rate of children aged 5 - 11 given primary shots higher than some European countries, making it one of the nation with the largest vaccine coverage, statistics show.
At the meeting, participants said BA.5 has been reported in Vietnam, and this sub-variant is 12% more transmissible than the dominant BA.2 in the country at present. Therefore, BA.5 infections in the community may increase in the time ahead, leading to a rise in the number of new cases.
Given this, the anti-pandemic response system from the central to local levels needs to press on with disease prevention and control measures, the administration of booster shots to vulnerable groups, as well as communications to raise public awareness, the committee noted.