Monday , June 24 2024

Vietnam all set to classify Covid as common disease

The Ministry of Health is wrapping up the process of designing Covid-19 as a common infectious disease.

Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Lien Huong said at a meeting Wednesday that the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus is being removed from group A, a list of dangerous infectious diseases with the ability to spread quickly and widely and have a high mortality rate or an unknown causative agent, including influenza A – H5N1, all plague types, smallpox, dengue fever, and cholera.

Covid would be moved to group B comprising less dangerous infectious diseases such as the flu, tuberculosis, and hand-foot-mouth disease, she said.

It would be done by the end of June, she said.

It means Covid would no longer be treated for free, and each locality has to prepare itself for any possible surges in incidence.

Ha Anh Duc, the ministry’s office chief, said the decision has been made since both the number of cases and deaths have reduced significantly, and the mortality rate is equal to or even lower than several other infectious diseases such as dengue fever, malaria, diphtheria, and whooping cough.

Phan Trong Lan, director of the ministry’s Department of Preventive Medicine, said Covid surveillance would be integrated into the respiratory pathogen surveillance regime and the viral gene sequencing work would continue.

PM Pham Minh Chinh last month instructed the health ministry to make preparations to declare an end to the Covid epidemic.

Since early 2022 he has repeatedly exhorted health authorities to learn from international experiences to adopt new approaches for living with the disease and consider it endemic.

Almost everyone aged 12 years and above in Vietnam had received two doses of vaccines by mid-2022.

But the ministry, wary of new variants, has been cautious about declaring an end to the epidemic.

The total number of deaths from Covid in Vietnam is 43,206, or 0.4% of the total number of infections, which include 20 cases in the last five months.

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