HCMC – The Omicron variant of the coronavirus has become dominant in HCMC, accounting for over 76% of new infections detected through random testing, according to the director of the city’s Department of Health, Tang Chi Thuong.
Infections caused by the Delta variant now account for less than 30% of the total, Thuong said at a meeting of the HCMC steering committee for Covid infection prevention and control on February 22.
Addressing the meeting, HCMC Party Secretary Nguyen Van Nen said after the city reopened schools and resumed most tourism, trade and production activities, the number of new infections has increased significantly, requiring swift and appropriate preventive measures.
“Over the past week, all districts in HCMC have witnessed an uptick in new Covid-19 cases. One ward in District 4 even saw its Covid alert level rise to level three, or high risk,” Thuong said.
However, the number of critically ill Covid patients has not risen.
Covid infections among children rise sharply
According to the HCMC Department of Health, the number of Covid infections among children has increased sharply after in-person classes were restarted.
From February 7 to 13, the city reported nearly 500 Covid cases among children at 117 schools. In the following week, the number soared to over 6,000 cases.
Some 93% of them are children under 12 years of age, who have not been vaccinated against Covid. Most of them are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms.
Three children’s hospitals in the city are treating some 100 child Covid patients, including 15 from other provinces.
“The HCMC Department of Health is keeping a close watch on the situation and preparing for a surge in new cases among children” Thuong said.
These three hospitals have 450 beds, including 150 beds for respiratory resuscitation. They also offer remote health services for families and schools if their children get infected with Covid.