A more than 280-bed field hospital has its construction completed at a sports centre in Đà Nẵng City to accomodate COVID-19 patients. More beds will be added, increasing its capacity to 700 to 1,000 beds in case there are more infections. — VNA/VNS Photo Văn Dũng
HÀ NỘI — Dozens of new COVID-19 infection cases could be linked to three hospitals in Đà Nẵng City in the coming days, but experts have said the number of new cases does not reflect whether the pandemic is surging or on the decline.
The medical experts were speaking at the meeting of the National Steering Committee of COVID-19 Prevention and Control on Thursday and predicted there will be more COVID-19 fatalities in departments where critically-ill patients are being treated.
Responding to the question over whether cases linked to Đà Nẵng in Hà Nội and Lạng Sơn and Bắc Giang provinces all come from three hospitals, acting Minister of Health Nguyễn Thanh Long said three hospitals in Đà Nẵng are hotspots of COVID-19 but transmission has also occurred in the community.
“About 91.71 per cent of locally-transmitted cases linked to Đà Nẵng are related to the three hospitals. About 2 per cent (14 cases) are not or their infection sources are impossible to be investigated,” he said.
The pandemic in Đà Nẵng has had a high speed of transmission with patients, relatives of patients and medical workers at three hospitals at the highest risk of infection. The Ministry of Health recommends returnees from Đà Nẵng from July 1 take preventive measures to protect themselves and others, he said.
The Ministry of Health has strengthened testing capacity by three times compared to April to trace new cases, he added.
According to medical experts, when a hotspot of the pandemic is discovered like the one in Đà Nẵng, quick antibody tests aim to assess the infection risk level. After that, Real-time Reverse Transcription- Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests need to be conducted to identify positive cases.
Some localities think the hotspots are only in Đà Nẵng and have loosened preventive measures, the acting minister said, urging medical centres and hospitals nationwide to strictly follow preventive and control regulations including wearing masks and distancing measures.
Members of the steering committee proposed if there is any further infection at any hospital across the country, leaders of hospitals must take full responsibility.
As the cluster of three hospitals in Đà Nẵng City is regarded as an epicentre, the committee emphasised the importance of social distancing measures in high-risk areas including Đà Nẵng and some districts and towns of Quảng Nam Province.
Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam said: “The infection risk is not only from people returning from Đà Nẵng but also in all provinces and cities. Local authorities must strictly follow the health ministry’s instructions in quarantining the returnees. The localities which violate the regulations will be severely punished.” — VNS