|A COVID-19 patient treated at Thanh Nhàn Hospital in Hà Nội. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — Severe cases of COVID-19 recorded in Hà Nội are on the rise, with some hospitals concerned about overcrowding.
The city recorded 1,612 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, the second consecutive day on which the city recorded the highest number of daily infections nationwide.
At the Hà Nội COVID-19 Treatment Field Hospital, under the management of the Hà Nội Medical University Hospital, based in Yên Sở Ward, Hoàng Mai District, the number of serious cases of COVID-19 has been increasing, with many more patients compared to last week.
Hoàng Bùi Hải, deputy head of the field hospital, said the hospital was treating 60 serious cases of COVID-19 on Monday.
Hải said the increasing number of new cases led to more severe cases. The number of severe cases often accounted for three per cent of the total infections.
Normally, a severe case needs two weeks to a month of intensive care, according to Hải.
The field hospital also receives severe patients of COVID-19 from lower-level hospitals.
In response, the Hà Nội Medical University Hospital has sent three doctors to support the field hospital.
A total of 40 doctors from the Hà Nội Medical University Hospital have been working at the field hospital, accounting for 50 per cent of the total doctors.
Many doctors from Hà Nội-based Saint Paul Hospital and from the provinces of Hà Giang and Hà Tĩnh also work at the field hospital.
Hải also said that local hospitals that treat COVID-19 patients in Hà Nội were seeing spiking numbers of patients requiring intensive care.
Similarly, at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases 500 sickbeds are full, according to Nguyễn Trung Cấp, deputy director of the hospital.
The hospital now only receives serious patients with lung damage, and not those without symptoms.
Data from the Ministry of Health shows that by the evening of December 20, the whole country had 7,615 patients in serious and critical condition, the Tiền Phong (Vanguard) online newspaper reported.
According to a report by the ministry's Department of Medical Examination and Treatment, by the end of Monday, there were 14,333 COVID-19 patients being treated, including 5,061 allowed to self-monitor at home in Hà Nội.
There are 180 severe cases of COVID-19, including 161 cases requiring supplemental oxygen, two requiring the use of high-flow nasal oxygen and 17 cases requiring non-invasive ventilation.
Antiretroviral drug warning
There are many antiretroviral drugs available for sale. However, Cấp said people should not arbitrarily buy and use antiretroviral drugs without doctors’ advice.
Under the ministry’s instructions, there are seven types of drugs that COVID-19 asymptomatic patients, who are allowed to self-monitor at home, can use.
The seven drugs consist of fever reducers, electrolyte balancing drugs, oropharyngeal antiseptics, antiretroviral drugs, corticosteroid anti-inflammatory drugs and anticoagulants.
According to the latest regulations of the health ministry, the principles of treatment for antiretroviral drugs are as follows: drugs that have not been recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO), drugs not licensed for circulation and drugs not licensed for emergency use in any country in the world, must comply with the regulations on clinical trials of the health ministry.
Drugs that have been recommended by WHO for use, licensed for circulation, or licensed for emergency use in at least one country in the world, can be prescribed for treatment according to the patient's pathological progress.
In the latest decision, the health ministry revised and supplemented a number of contents on indications, contraindications, dosage and attention for three antiretroviral drugs in the treatment of COVID-19 patients: Favipiravir 200mg, Remdesivir and Molnupiravir.
Therefore, apart from the three drugs mentioned above, other drugs have not been licensed by the ministry for use.
Tạ Mạnh Hùng, deputy head of the ministry’s Drug Administration of Việt Nam, said the administration had told departments of health in 63 provinces and cities to conduct more inspections on drug quality to ensure safety for users, he said.
The departments are ordered to focus on taking samples to monitor the quality of drugs used to treat COVID-19 patients at distribution and medical facilities in the localities.
At the same time, the administration also required the National Institute of Drug Quality Control and Institute of Drug Quality Control HCM City to increase sampling of antiretroviral drugs used in treating COVID-19 patients, including drugs containing active ingredients Molnupiravir, Favipiravir, Remdesivir to ensure safety for users.
The ministry is considering approving more drugs and treatment regimens for COVID-19 patients.— VNS