HCM CITY — HCM City has approved a new health strategy that seeks to improve pandemic prevention and surveillance capacity amid fears of the emergence of new COVID-19 variants.
It focuses on treating high-risk groups like people aged 50 and above and those with underlying conditions to minimise the number of severe cases and deaths.
It will also improve the treatment of patients at home by creating electronic medical records.
For more severe cases, all treatment facilities have been instructed to stand by to admit patients.
The city will maintain mobile medical stations and COVID quick response teams to promptly provide care to patients at home, and ensure all have adequate medical oxygen.
It will prepare for various scenarios and develop logistics plans for pandemic prevention.
The Department of Health has been instructed to monitor pandemic indicators and promptly warn of any increase in risk levels and to direct medical units all over the city to carry out disease surveillance.
All hospitals have been instructed to treat COVID.
The city plans to improve the capacity of its Centre for Disease Control, the grassroots healthcare system and human resources needed to treat infectious diseases, especially in intensive care.
It will provide regular training to doctors, nurses and technicians in treatment of severe cases, especially those needing emergency resuscitation.
It will have a reserve contingent of back-up doctors standing by to go to southern provinces if needed.
It will mobilise resources from the private sector, military and others for the fight against the pandemic.
Districts that do not have a field hospital have been instructed to set up one as soon as possible since the incidence is rising.
The city will also enhance public communication to raise awareness of pandemic prevention and ensure people, many of whom believe the pandemic is over, stay on high alert.
The city will review every household in the city and compile a list of households with high-risk people who remain unvaccinated for early vaccination.
It will compile big data on COVID vaccinations and set up a hotline for people to report if they have not been vaccinated or have other issues.
More than 90 per cent of people aged 18 and above have been fully vaccinated, and so in most cases there are no symptoms or are only mild ones, which helps ease the pressure on hospitals, according to city authorities.
No Omicron cases have been found in Việt Nam yet.
Experts warn that it could be far more contagious than the currently dominant Delta strain and that neither prior infections nor vaccination offers complete immunity against it.
The city, which remains the country’s COVID epicentre, has had more than 487,000 cases and nearly 19,000 deaths in the fourth COVID wave that began in late April. — VNS