No grounds yet to view COVID-19 as seasonal flu: HCM City official

Though the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Ho Chi Minh City has been falling, there haven’t been grounds for viewing COVID-19 as a seasonal flu and treating it as a common illness, a local official has said. The coronavirus deaths in the country's biggest hub have been very low over the past one week, less than four fatalities per day.

However, the pandemic is an unprecedented event, and there hasn’t been sufficient understanding about it to conclude that COVID-19 is similar to dengue fever or a popular illness, Chief of the municipal Health Department’s Office Nguyen Thi Huynh Mai told a meeting of the city’s steering committee for pandemic combat and economic recovery on February 14.

She urged people to continue enhancing anti-pandemic measures and not lower their guard.

Nguyen Hong Tam, Deputy Director of the HCM City Centre for Disease Control, said the Ministry of Health hasn’t issued detailed guidance on the vaccination of children aged 5 - 11, but the Health Department has proposed a plan on the work for 970,000 local children of this age group to the municipal People’s Committee.

The inoculation of children will be carried out on a voluntary basis, and unvaccinated ones are still allowed to go to school as normal, he noted, adding that the health and educational sectors will strive to persuade parents to allow their children be vaccinated.

After the Lunar New Year holiday, the longest festival that always sees heavy traffic as people often rush for their family reunion, COVID-19 cases in HCM City grew slightly but have declined to less than 200 on February 13 and 14. The most important thing is that the number of related deaths remains very low, Tam said, describing this as a highly positive sign.

New infections may increase as schools have reopened, but the health and educational sectors are pledging utmost efforts to prevent virus transmission in schools, according to the official./.

VNA/VNP

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