|A health worker gives a booster shot to a man at Vĩnh Phúc General Hospital in northern Vĩnh Phúc Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoàng Hùng
HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Health has requested the health departments of cities and provinces and health facilities nationwide to get ready for the possible spread of the Omicron variant during the Lunar New Year holiday.
In Directive 01 on COVID-19 prevention and control, Minister Nguyễn Thanh Long has requested health departments and health facilities to prioritise vaccinations for those who had received only one dose of vaccine.
He also requested hospitals to be on duty around the clock and publicly post the list of daily duties in order to promptly and effectively handle problems arising during the holiday.
The ministry has asked the departments of health of cities and provinces to work with local people's committees to focus on pandemic prevention and control in densely populated areas and industrial parks, especially when people move between their hometowns and cities before and after the holiday.
These units are in charge of supervising imported cases to detect infections and prevent spread to the community.
The ministry has also directed health units to closely coordinate with local authorities and police at grassroots levels to make a list of people in high-risk groups and develop a support plan.
Health units must prepare and fully stock up on medical supplies, chemicals and equipment for possible outbreaks, especially in case of reports of the Omicron variant.
Long said localities needed to improve the treatment capacity of medical facilities, classify the patient's risk and promptly update instructions and treatment regimens from the ministry.
Medical facilities needed to improve transfers of severe cases and those with mild symptoms, promote professional support to lower-level hospitals and strengthen the capacity of emergency transport from the community, as well as from lower-level to higher-level hospitals.
They also needed to mobilise the participation of organisations and volunteers to take care of and treat patients in the community and at treatment facilities.
In particular, the application of information technology in remote treatment consultation should be strengthened to monitor patients in the community.
Localities have been asked to direct medical facilities to prepare enough oxygen, drugs, blood, infusion fluids, supplies, chemicals, hospital beds and emergency equipment, and be ready to respond to emergency cases.
They must organise a mobile anti-pandemic team that stands ready to support local health units when needed.
Long said the ministry suggested localities develop policies to encourage health workers, especially those working on the frontline of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ministry has also directed medical facilities to develop plans to visit patients during Tết, especially those in difficult circumstances.
Long has requested the Institutes of Hygiene and Epidemiology and the Pasteur Institute to coordinate with localities to receive samples suspected of being infected with the Omicron variant and conduct testing and confirm genetic sequencing.
He has also asked hospitals to strictly control people entering the hospitals while enhancing the application of information technology in health consultation, appointment booking and remote medical examination and treatment. — VNS