WHO Representative offers recommendations to Vietnam hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – WHO Representative in Vietnam Dr Kidong Park has offered recommendations to Vietnam in face of the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variant Omicron which was first detected in South Africa and has been reported in countries and territories worldwide.

Though Vietnam has yet to record any infection related to the new variant, the Health Ministry said the risk of its entry and transmission in the country is very high.

In an interview recently granted to Vietnam News Agency, Park highlighted a need to prepare for possible transmission cases, strengthen the medical system and mitigate the disruptions of socio-economic and health care activities.

He said Vietnam should consider several actions such as enhancing inspection over genome sequencing of circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants and sending complete genome sequences and relevant data to existing public databases such as the Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data (GISAID).

He stressed the high coverage rate of vaccinations and the implementation of the 5K measure, saying the importance is that all vulnerable groups, including  medical staff and the elderly, are fully vaccinated.

He proposed Vietnam continue improving medical and public health care capacity to ensure smooth combination in patient care, from initial to intensive care, as well as manage the increase in infection cases.

Vietnam needs to provide accurate, timely and transparent information for the public and international community about its fight against the pandemic, he said.

WHO will continue working closely with the Vietnamese Government, toward helping the country “safely live with the virus” for a long term, even when other outbreaks could occur in the future. The support will also cover protecting vulnerable groups and preventing overload in medical services, he added.

According to him, WHO declared B.1.1.529 as a variant of concern and named it Omicron. As of December 5, as many as 45 countries in six regions had reported the emergence of the variant. Initial reports showed that its caused milder symptoms but it remains too early to confirm. It also takes time to learn about its transmission risk.

About the risk of reinfection, Park said the information remain limited and more will come in next days or weeks.

He also informed that WHO is working with technical partners to learn about Omicron’s potential impacts on vaccines and testing methods, including Realtime RT-PCR and rapid antigen testing./.