|Medical workers rehearse transporting a COVID-19 severe case to the field hospital No 13. — VNA/VNS Photo Đinh Hằng|
HCM CITY — The HCM City Department of Health on Tuesday held a drill in preparation for any COVID-19 outbreaks during the Lunar New Year holiday.
The exercise saw the municipal Centre for Disease Control (HCDC) coordinate with the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU) to determine that a new sub-variant of the Omicron strain appeared in HCM City.
Also at this time, it was assumed that the Hospital for Tropical Diseases and general hospitals had an increased number of COVID-19 patients, three or four times higher than the previous time.
In the drill, a hypothetical situation was created with most of the patients being severe and needing increased oxygen.
As part of the exercise, the COVID-19 Ward of the Hospital for Tropical Diseases used 50 out of 70 beds whereas COVID-19 treatment wards at other hospitals in the city used half of their beds.
Facing this situation, the Department of Health leaders immediately convened the city’s Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.
Facing the troublesome situation, the leaders agreed to reactivate the field hospital No 13 with 100 beds to treat severe COVID-19 cases requiring intensive care.
Tăng Chí Thượng, director of the HCM City Department of Health, said that together with the above rehearsal, the city prepared 100 beds, 100 ventilators and two portable X-ray machines.
The department made a list of 54 doctors and more than 100 nurses to get ready to serve the work in case the supposed situation happened.
The department assigned a group of experts to support remote consultation, a team to transfer seriously ill patients to the field hospital No 13 and a logistics support group.
“The field hospital No 13 was founded to treat severe COVID-19 patients," said Thượng.
"It has long been kept in a sleeping state and ready to wake up to work again when the pandemic breaks out.
“The drill has an important meaning in being ready to activate the city's treatment system. Medical staff are also ready to take on tasks when required."
Thượng said that although at present, COVID-19 cases in the city was low, in the context of complicated developments in the world, people should be vigilant.
The upcoming Lunar New Year holiday will have a lot of traffic and many activities with large crowds, potentially posing a huge risk of disease outbreaks.
People should follow preventive measures recommended by the health sector, and get enough vaccination.
During the Lunar New Year holiday, the HCM City Department of Health has arranged 45 venues for COVID-19 vaccinations. — VNS