Experts warn of possibility of another COVID-19 wave this winter
  • | VOV | September 28, 2020 04:02 PM

Leading Vietnamese health experts have not ruled out the possibility that the SARS-CoV-2 virus could recur in the winter months due to favourable weather conditions allowing for a resurgence of the virus.

Vietnamese scientists are making progress in producing COVID-19 vaccines which are expected to be commercially marketted next year.

The latest novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to hit the country has been brought under control with no new locally transmitted cases detected nationwide for 26 consecutive days. Despite this, experts believe that although the virus is showing signs of abating at present, it is likely to return each winter like the seasonal flu.

Scientists have agreed that there is growing evidence to suggest that seasonal factors could influence the spread of COVID-19, with human-to-human transmission of the virus likely to make it more widespread in the winter.

Dr. Dang Quang Tan, head of the Preventive Medicine Department under the Ministry of Health, says new infection cases may emerge from previous hotspots, or be brought in from returnees from epidemic hit countries, especially following the country reopening international commercial flights.

Dr. Tan therefore warns of difficult times ahead as the wintry weather potentially favours a resurgence and spread of the virus.

At present, Vietnam is striving to implement the Government’s dual goal of epidemic prevention and economic recovery. The Prime Minister has recently announced the reopening of international commercial flights to seven overseas destinations following the successful containment of the virus in these places.

To meet the dual goal and nip possible outbreaks in the bud, the Ministry of Health has proposed localities devise appropriate plans for quarantine, sampling, testing, and health monitoring for groups upon their arrival in the country following the reopening of international commercial routes.

The Ministry has requested that the community fully implement epidemic prevention and control recommendations in the new situation, by effectively implementing the ministry’s 5K message in Vietnamese, namely Khau trang (Face Masks), Khu khuan (Disinfection), Khoang cach (Keeping a safe distance), Khong tu tap (No Gatherings), and Khai bao y te (Health declarations).

Vietnam has so far recorded 1,074 COVID-19 cases, of whom 999 patients have gone on to make a full recovery, representing 93% of the total. The countrywide death toll caused by the disease has remained at 35. Of the 40 remaining cases, 19 patients have since tested negative for the virus at least once.

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