HCMC – The Ministry of Health confirmed 14,977 new Covid-19 infections this evening, December 20, including 11 imported cases and 14,966 domestic transmissions in 61 cities and provinces, falling by over 1,000 cases from yesterday.
Eight localities accounted for half of the new infections, with Hanoi reporting the most cases, at 1,612, followed by Ben Tre with 985, Ca Mau with 967, Tay Ninh with 947, Dong Thap with 786, Can Tho with 773, Khanh Hoa with 709 and HCMC with 687.
Vinh Long, Bac Lieu, Soc Trang and Binh Dinh detected 411-596 cases each, while other cities and provinces had fewer than 400 new infections each.
The country’s domestic transmissions have amounted to nearly 1.55 million in the fourth Covid wave, which began in late April. Meanwhile, the country’s total case number since the beginning of the outbreak late last year has reached over 1.555 million, ranking 32nd among 223 countries and territories.
This afternoon, the Ministry of Health confirmed 225 more Covid deaths, taking the nation’s death toll to 29,791. The new deaths included 56 in HCMC, 30 in Dong Nai, 22 in An Giang, 16 in Binh Duong, 14 in Ben Tre and 11 each in Soc Trang and Tien Giang. Eighteen other cities and provinces reported fewer than 10 deaths each.
To date, more than 1.1 million Covid patients have fully recovered, while there are currently over 7,600 critically ill Covid patients in the country.
Vietnam has administered 139.4 million doses of Covid vaccines nationwide so far. Some 62.2 million people have got two shots.
The Ministry of Health has asked the local authorities, the Pasteur Institute and the National Institute for Hygiene and Epidemiology to increase surveillance over the Omicron variant, which is spreading quickly elsewhere around the world.
All arrivals to Vietnam from November 28 that tested positive for Covid through the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction method or the nucleic acid amplification test within 14 days of entry will have their samples sent to the Pasteur Institute or the National Institute for Hygiene and Epidemiology for genetic sequencing.
If the Omicron variant is detected, all people that had close contact with the infected person will also be tested and all positive samples will be further analyzed as well.
The genetic sequencing results will be uploaded onto the Global Science Initiative and Primary Source, a platform to share genetic data of influenza virus and coronavirus.
The Health Ministry also asked cities and provinces to quickly administer the Covid vaccines that they have been allocated, with special attention given to unvaccinated or partially vaccinated people, to increase vaccine coverage, as well as provide booster shots for priority groups.