Random screening last week (Feb. 10-17) found the Omicron variant responsible for 70 of 92 samples that tested positive for the novel coronavirus in HCMC.
The other infections were of the Delta strain, Tang Chi Thuong, director of municipal Department of Health, said at a city meeting Tuesday.
“We have enough scientific evidence to say that the Omicron variant has become dominant in the city,” he said.
The latest finding also explains the recent increase in the number of cases recorded daily in the city, as the Omicron variant spreads faster than the Delta, he added.
According to official data from the Ministry of Health, the average daily number of new cases in the city has surged 293 percent over the previous two weeks.
On Tuesday, 1,352 cases were confirmed, the highest since the Lunar New Year holiday, which ended Feb. 6.
The city now has around 15,000 active patients, compared to just 3,000-4,000 three weeks ago.
From Feb. 14 until recently, the number of child Covid-19 patients has increased thrice against the previous week (Feb 7-13) with 6,799 cases.
Experts said last week that the possibility of new coronavirus strains poses challenges for Vietnam’s medical system, making it hard to predict when Covid-19 can be designated endemic.
There is general consensus among experts that the Omicron variant causes the disease to spread “very quickly,” fully vaccinated people could still get it and that it could result in more severe cases and hospitalizations, threatening to overload the healthcare system.
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