Government chief orders drastic measures to deal with Omicron variant

18:09 30/11/2021

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has requested that relevant ministries swiftly tighten control over people who have come from or transited in countries which have detected the Omicron variant in order to prevent the potential transmission of the new variant.

The move comes following the Government Office issuing a document aimed at unveiling the PM’s directions on proactively controlling the latest strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus known as Omicron, while the Ministry of Health (MoH) are required to keep a close watch on the pandemic situation caused by Omicron.

The PM has also assigned the MoH with the task of frequently contacting the World Health Organisation (WHO) to get timely and precise updates about the latest variant, whilst also proposing effective anti-pandemic measures aimed at coping with the pandemic developments.

The MoH has directed relevant units to strengthen surveillance over the COVID-19 pandemic to prevent the risk of spreading the new strain locally. 

Simultaneously, the MoH has enforced a score of measures to ensure that the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology and the Pasteur Institute carry out genetic sequencing of suspected new mutant infections, especially those with epidemiological history from countries in Southern Africa.

Moreover, the Ministry also proposed considering suspending international flights both to and South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Eswatini, Lesotho, and Mozambique, where the new strain has been detected, with those who wish to travel to or come from these countries not being granted permission.

The MoH will also continue to closely co-ordinate alongside the WHO and national focal agencies to implement the International Health Regulations to promptly provide information on the latest strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and devise timely pandemic prevention measures.