HCM City tightens COVID preventive measures as cases increase

November 13, 2021 - 07:09

The HCM City People’s Committee has instructed departments and people’s committees in districts and Thủ Đức City to strengthen preventive measures against COVID-19 as the number of new cases has increased this month.


Local residents in Thủ Đức City are vaccinated. Source https://hcdc.vn/

HCM CITY— The HCM City People’s Committee has instructed departments and people’s committees in districts and Thủ Đức City to strengthen preventive measures against COVID-19 as the number of new cases has increased this month.

The People’s Committee has ordered all steering committees for COVID-19 prevention and control to strictly comply with Government Resolution 128 and the city’s Directive 18 on COVID-19 preventive measures.

Lê Hòa Bình, vice chairman of the People’s Committee, said that inspections of preventive measures should be strengthened at state offices, organisations, enterprises, factories, as well as hospitals, manufacturers, markets, supermarkets, train stations, airports, and bus stations.

The procedures on preventive measures when a COVID-19 patient is detected at workplaces should be strictly complied with, Bình said, adding that violators would be fined.

The People’s Committee has told the Department of Health to ensure that COVID-19 patients being treated at home receive medicine. The number of mobile medical stations should match the new number of COVID-19 incidences in each area.

The Department of Health said that all COVID-19 patients treated at home and in quarantine facilities should be provided medicine within 24 hours. Medicines, especially the antiviral drug Mulnopiravir, should be provided in line with prescription guidelines of the Ministry of Health.

All health stations in wards, communes and towns and mobile medical stations should have staff in charge of receiving calls around the clock 24 hours a day every day. 

Shortage of health workers

In the last few days, many COVID-19 cases have been found at workplaces or through self-testing at home, but these people had to go to the stations to get medicine.

Many health stations in communes and wards said they faced a shortage of health workers and could not visit patients' houses to provide medicine in time.

Health stations in District 12’s Hiệp Thành Ward, for instance, had 3,983 COVID-19 patients as of November 11, and had eight medical workers and six volunteers. The ward, which now has 16 COVID-19 clusters, has asked new COVID-19 patients to visit the health station to get their medicine.

On November 11, two mobile medical stations in the ward, run by Bình Dân Hospital and Traditional Medicine Hospital, opened to help COVID-19 patients who are being treated at home. They provide emergency aid and transport patients who have become severely ill to hospitals.

Bình Hưng Hòa Ward’s health station has five medical workers for the ward, which has 101,000 people. Besides treating COVID-19 patients at home, the medical workers also provide vaccines to local people and others.

Speaking at a press meeting on November 11, Nguyễn Văn Vĩnh Châu, deputy head of the Department of Health, said the department would send medical workers from district-level hospitals to work at health stations and centres to assist in treatment of COVID-19 patients at home.

In the next few months, new graduates of Phạm Ngọc Thạch University of Medicine might be allowed to practise medicine at health stations and centres under a new proposal, Châu said.

The health department would also propose that the People’s Council and National Assembly delegation approve new policies to attract more medical workers to work at health stations and centres.  

The city has a total of 310 health stations in communes, wards and towns. Among these, 52 stations have five medical workers; 173 have six to eight medical workers; and 64 have nine to 10 medical workers.

According to Châu, each health station should have at least 10 medical workers per 30,000 people in each ward or commune.

The department has also resumed operation of the Thầy Thuốc Đồng Hành (Companion physicians) network that provides consultation for COVID-19 patients.

COVID-19 patients or their relatives can call the phone number 1022 and press 4 for a consultation from the network.

The department has told heads of health centres in districts and Thủ Đức City, 115 Emergency Aids Centres and COVID-19 treatment hospitals to collaborate with leaders of teams in the network to update the list of COVID-19 patients and provide emergency aid to these patients.

It has also told them to provide vaccines as soon as possible to seniors and people who face difficulty travelling to health stations. Châu said those with chronic underlying medical conditions or people who have had to stay in bed for a long time should be fully vaccinated.

Of the 38 deaths from COVID-19 in the city on November 11, 20 were unvaccinated, which included 12 people more than 65 years old with chronic underlying medical conditions.

As of November 11, nearly 1,800 COVID-19 patients were using ventilators. The city recently has had 21-43 fatalities daily due to COVID-19, higher than the number on October 30.

Châu said that young people should prevent transmission of the virus to older people in their families by being careful about their contacts outside the home. VNS