A “green zone” sign put up at the entrance to a residential area in HCM City’s District 3, meaning no one there has contracted COVID-19. VNS Bồ Xuân Hiệp
HCM CITY — Part of Từ Dũ maternity hospital and the entire Saigon General Hospital, both in HCM City’s District 1, have been converted into field hospitals with a total of 350 beds for Covid-19 treatment, according to city authorities.
The city, the country’s pandemic epicentre, has recorded more than 100,000 cases since the fourth COVID outbreak began at the end of April.
The Từ Dũ facility will have 150 beds.
The Saigon General Hospital field hospital on Lê Lợi Street will use the entire existing infrastructure of the facility, which has 200 beds besides 300 medical professionals.
Nearly 40 hospitals with a total capacity of 55,000 beds are treating COVID patients based on the five-level model, with the fifth referring to treating patients who are critically ill.
On Monday a team of doctors and medical personnel from the central-level Huế Central Hospital, led by its director and deputy director, left for HCM City to set up an ICU there for COVID treatment.
A lot of equipment, supplies and medicines for severe cases accompanied them.
The facility they will set up with 500 beds will be in Tân Phú District and start functioning within a few days.
In a related move, doctors and medical personnel from other two central-level facilities, Hà Nội’s Việt Đức and Bạch Mai hospitals, will also set up two ICUs with a total of 2,500 beds in the city, according to the Ministry of Health.
HCM City-based Chợ Rẫy Hospital already operates a 1,000-bed ICU at the HCM City Oncology Hospital in Thủ Đức City.
4 million doses in August
The city has sought continued vaccination priority from the Ministry of Health to achieve its goal of immunising 70 per cent of its population aged over 18 by the end of August.
Dương Anh Đức, vice chairman of the People’s Committee, said the city has so far administered more than 1.7 million doses, mostly to people in the priority list such as those over 65 years or with underlying conditions.
The city plans to accelerate the progress of vaccination, and targets more than 4 million doses by the end of August.
For the purpose, it has allowed people aged over 65 or with chronic medical conditions to get vaccinated at mobile facilities instead of at only hospitals and treatment facilities.
Đức has said everyone above 18 would be vaccinated. The city has a population of 13 million of whom 6.99 million are over 18.
To speed up the task, the city plans to set up mobile vaccination facilities and carry out the task even at night.
On Monday nearly 538,490 people were vaccinated, the highest in a single day so far, taking the total number to nearly 6,959,200, with 712,860 people fully vaccinated.
If the number – in the city -- reaches 500,000 doses a day or more, Việt Nam is likely to complete the target of herd immunity by the end of 2021, according to the ministry.
The number of infections since the fourth wave began at the end of April is nearly 170,000, with HCM City accounting for more than 100,000. — VNS
An empty street in District 4 during the stringent stay-at-home orders in HCM City. VNS Photo Bồ Xuân Hiệp