|COVID-19 patients being treated at an intensive care centre at field hospital No 13 in HCM City’s Bình Chánh District on August 16. VNA/VNS.Photo Bùi Cương Quyết
HCM CITY — Minister of Health Nguyễn Thanh Long has instructed HCM City to strengthen care for COVID-19 patients isolated at home to ease the burden on designated hospitals.
He told a meeting with city People’s Committee and Party Committee officials on Tuesday that if a new COVID patient is found, local officials should isolate their house and hand over medicines and daily necessities such as rice, cooking oil, vegetables, and others to the household.
Timely tests, treatment and provision of daily necessities are imperative for reducing transmission, he said.
The city should increase task forces in communes and wards, and set up oxygen stations at all residential quarters to cope with emergencies, he said.
Health facilities should not turn away any patient, including those with COVID-19, he said, warning any violation would see them fined and have their licence withdrawn.
Patients isolated and treated at home are immediately shifted to designated hospitals for treatment if their condition deteriorates.
Field hospitals and other designated facilities treat mild and moderate cases, and their number of beds with oxygen cylinders and other medical equipment have been increased.
There are 74 such hospitals with 49,392 beds.
Eight resuscitation hospitals and five intensive care centres treat patients with life-threatening conditions.
All hospitals use Remdisivir for treatment.
Long said the city authorities should ensure the public strictly complies with social distancing regulations, a very important and decisive factor in containing the disease.
They should ensure people have all essential items they need, especially daily necessities, so that they do not need to go outside, which would prevent transmission, he said.
They should conduct early tests to detect transmission sources and isolate patients, he said.
They could allow the self-use of rapid tests, with health officials later doing PCR tests if someone tests positive, and use pooled tests in high-risk zones, he said.
They should focus on reducing deaths and increasing vaccination, he added.
On August 20 the ministry will send 10 testing vehicles to the city, each capable of sampling 2,000-3,000 people a day.
The community infection rate in the city increased to 72 per cent of the total incidence of 3,540 on August 17 from less than 20 per cent earlier.
There are 158,499 cases in all.
Thus, while earlier most of the new patients were foreigners and others who entered the country for various reasons, now locals are the main victims.
Districts 3, Bình Thạnh, Tân Bình, and Hóc Môn have the high rates.
Nguyễn Thành Phong, chairman of the People’s Committee, has instructed local government to strictly comply with the social distancing regulations mandated by the Government’s Directive 16. VNS