Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam at the meeting. — VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — HCM City leaders yesterday asked the Ministry of Health to support the city to reduce the number of COVID-19 deaths.
The request was made during an online meeting between the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control and HCM City leaders.
Phan Văn Mãi, deputy secretary of the city’s Party Committee, said COVID-19 deaths in HCM City do not only occur at the fifth level of the COVID-19 treatment model when intensive resuscitation is needed.
He said they do occur at the fourth level with patients with underlying diseases and cases that need emergency resuscitation. They even sometimes occur at the third level where patients are receiving basic treatment for severe cases and with patients who have moderate to severe symptoms, with or without multiple underlying diseases.
This indicates that the system of operation, transfer and connection between levels is not smooth enough, he said.
As such, the city asked the Ministry of Health to provide training on transfers between the different levels in order to minimise the number of deaths.
At the meeting, Chairman of the Hồ Chí Minh City People's Committee Nguyễn Thành Phong said that up to date, as many as 37,486 patients with COVID-19 have been cured, including 35 that were very serious. The city is currently treating 33,599 patients.
He said the city has tightened the implementation of Directive 16, allowing only seven specific groups to go out from 6 pm to 6 am. The number of vehicles on the road has also decreased in the city by 79 per cent.
The city has mobilised private hospitals to participate in the treatment of COVID-19 patients under the split model which involves one specific area designated for COVID-19 and another for other diseases. Five hospitals with a total of 675 beds are using this model.
A number of businesses have assisted in the conversion of taxis and passenger cars into emergency and on-site service vehicles. These have been assigned to the Chairman of the People's Committees of 22 districts and Thủ Đức city.
The city has also decided to establish a centre to receive and support people in hardship. It will provide food support to about 250,000 poor households in the form of a “food bag” equal to the value of VNĐ500,000 (US$21) a week.
In addition, the city is supporting a number of groups in accordance with Resolution 09 of the City Council with more than VNĐ615 billion ($26 million). These include self-employed workers and businesses that were forced to suspend their operations.
Localities and volunteer groups have donated up to VNĐ351 billion.
From July 22 to August 1, the city injected 821,000 vaccines bringing the total number of doses injected to 1.76 million.
The city has simplified the process, mobilised private medical forces, and expanded vaccination locations to 1,200.
By August 2021, the leaders hope that about 70 per cent of the city’s population will have received their first shot.
Phong has proposed that the Government distribute vaccines continuously to the City and send as many as 7,000 more doctors, nurses, and technicians from other localities to the city.
Deputy Minister of Health Nguyễn Trường Sơn said that HCM City has made achievements after imposing Directive 16.
"The treatment work is now relatively stable, we can now handle a number of critical and severe cases if it increases," Sơn said.
HCM City has also asked the health ministry for four million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in August. At the meeting, the Steering Committee asked HCM City to provide a specific vaccination plan for each day, so that the Ministry of Health can actively balance the vaccine source.
In addition, the city needs to actively provide information to the people about the safety of vaccines. However, after vaccination, people must not be negligent and still have to strictly follow the 5K message. According to the law, vaccination is not mandatory, but in the context of the pandemic, this is the right and responsibility of each person for the health of themselves and the community, the committee said.
Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Bùi Thế Duy, who is also the head of the Quick Response Information Team under the steering committee, said the team had coordinated with the Ministry of Health, the Việt Nam Young Physicians Association and Hồ Chí Minh City to deploy a network of "accompanying physicians" to work with districts to screen patients.
“About 3,000 volunteer doctors have been calling directly to consult F0s who are isolated at home and high-risk F1s, as well as supporting the transfer of high-risk F0 cases to appropriate emergency medical facilities," Duy said. — VNS