|Medical workers examine the health of COVID-19 patients treated at home in Hà Nội's Thanh Trì District. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — As cases rise, many COVID patients in Hà Nội treating at home have turned to holistic methods such as aromatherapy to relieve symptoms.
Seeing the rise in demand, many merchants have hiked prices of aromatherapy ingredients. Prices of herbs used for herbal steam, which normally costs between VNĐ6,000-10,000 (US$0.26-0.44) are now four or five times more expensive.
The situation is similar with ingredients such as ginger or garlic, which are used in traditional cold medicines.
"It's normal because demand has risen," said Mai Minh, a housewife in Hoàng Mai, Hà Nội. "This reminds me of the mask fever in early 2020."
Many families have turned away from just using herbs to buying other items, including ceramic pots used for herbal steam. But the price of the pots is also unstable, ranging from VNĐ75,000 to VNĐ250,000.
"The demand for these ceramic pots was high last year, but then cooled down," said Hạnh Quỳnh, an online merchant.
However, too much aromatherapy is unnecessary, according to doctors. Herbal steam methods can only relieve symptoms such as a runny nose or cold, and clear the air. COVID patients should always follow guidance from local health authorities.
"There are two methods COVID patients can follow in using herbal steam," said Dr Nguyễn Trung Sơn of Hà Nội Medical University Hospital. "The first is to put 200-400g of each herbal ingredient like lime, mint or ginger in a pot full of water. Cook the water until it's boiled, and leave the pot in the room for 20 minutes with the doors closed. Repeat this twice daily."
The second method is to mix herbal oils with 75 per cent ethanol in a mist spray can, and spray the mixture all over the room for 20 minutes with the doors closed, and repeat two to three times daily.
However, patients should not directly spray the mixture on themselves, or use it in bedrooms of children under 30 months old, children with a history of epileptic seizures or allergies.
Hà Nội continues to record the highest number of infections in the country, at an average of just under 3,000 cases per day.
The country's current largest COVID-19 hotspot now has more than 61,000 active COVID-19 cases, of which over 80 per cent are being treated at home.
The city has set up the first online medical station in Ba Đình District's Trúc Bạch ward to help COVID-19 patients. The model uses Facebook social networks to transmit medical information related to pandemic prevention and control to locals, guiding them on physical and mental exercises, and providing instructions on patient care as well as pandemic prevention measures.
This model is expected to contribute to easing pressure at ward medical stations as well as quickly supporting patients and their families, especially home-treating cases. — VNS