Updated: December 01, 2021 07:25 AM GMT
An elementary school in Khanh Hoa province has been closed to contain the Covid outbreak. (Photo: UCA News)
The Vietnamese government plans to impose effective measures to deal with the Omicron Covid-19 variant while Catholics are called on to serve increasing numbers of patients at hospitals.
On Nov. 30, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh asked the Health Ministry to quickly gear vaccines, medical treatment and prevention steps toward the new Omicron variant that was confirmed by the World Health Organization on Nov. 25. The new strain’s unusually high number of mutations could make it more transmissible and result in immune evasion.
The prime minister also urged Ho Chi Minh City, the country's Covid-19 epicenter, and southern provinces to increase measures against the outbreak and speed up vaccinations to cover people with two doses by the end of this year.
Vietnam plans to provide booster shots to people aged over 50 who have had two vaccine jabs.
The PM said the Health Ministry should provide proper treatment for new infections to reduce hospitalized cases and improve medical capacity to offer people health services as quickly as possible.
Although Vietnam has not found any cases related to the Omicron variant so far, the Health Ministry proposed the government suspend flights to and from seven southern African countries — South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Eswatini, Lesotho and Mozambique — and halt entry for those with travel records to these countries.
He urged priests and religious people to enthusiastically join frontline forces to look after Covid victims as they did in the past
The ministry asked provinces and cities to closely monitor the outbreak to detect unusual symptoms of the contagion in communities.
The ministry called on people to strictly follow health rules such as wearing masks, disinfecting hands, maintaining social distancing, avoiding gatherings and making medical declarations to contain the outbreak.
On Nov. 29, Father Joseph Mary Tran Hoa Hung, who is in charge of religious affairs in Ho Chi Minh City Archdiocese, said the Delta variant is still ravaging the city, causing a high number of infections and deaths, while the new Omicron variant is emerging and threatening people's lives.
Father Hung said hospitals for Covid patients in the city called on the local Church to send religious volunteers to serve patients.
He urged priests and religious people to enthusiastically join frontline forces to look after Covid victims as they did in the past.
During the past few days, the Southeast Asian country has recorded up to 14,000 new cases each day, the highest numbers since October when travel restrictions were eased.
Vietnam has confirmed 1,231,939 infections and 25,252 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic last year.
So far nearly 51 million people have been fully administered Covid-19 vaccines and another 22 million were given one dose since mass inoculation was rolled out in March. The country has used eight brands of vaccines — Comirnaty, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Janssen, Vero Cell, Hayat-Vax, Sputnik V and Abdala.
….As we enter the first months of 2022, we are asking readers like you to help us keep UCA News free.
For the last 40 years, UCA News has remained the most trusted and independent Catholic news and information service from Asia. Every week, we publish nearly 100 news reports, feature stories, commentaries, podcasts and video broadcasts that are exclusive and in-depth, and developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes.
Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to – South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.
And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters who cover 23 countries in south, southeast, and east Asia. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don’t have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.
With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.