City strengthens protection for patients in high-risk group for COVID-19

August, 24/2020 - 08:32

The HCM City Department of Health has instructed health facilities to carry out methods to protect people in high-risk categories from COVID-19.


A health official at Gia Định People’s Hospital checks the temperature of people visiting the hospital. Source

HCM CITY— The HCM City Department of Health has instructed health facilities to carry out methods to protect people in high-risk categories from COVID-19.

Facilities should apply the Ministry of Health’s 37 criteria for the prevention and control of COVID-19 and other acute respiratory infections as well as other regulations on prevention at hospitals, in addition to the city department’s 14 criteria on preventing facilities from becoming sources of transmission. 

The department has also instructed health facilities to conduct health declarations and check temperatures of patients, their relatives and anyone visiting departments where seniors are treated and others with chronic diseases. Relatives should not be allowed to visit patients in these departments. 

Health facilities should set up at least one booth at inpatient departments to isolate patients or their relatives if they have a fever and other symptoms of COVID-19.

They should not let patients share beds and should maintain a minimum distance between beds, according to department regulations. Separate areas for patients and their relatives at these departments should be set up.

One of the other preventive measures is to limit senior patients and those with chronic diseases from going to crowded areas in hospitals. These patients should be given priority for testing, ultrasounds and X-rays at their beds.

Patients with chronic kidney failure should receive dialysis as scheduled, and those who are quarantined and need dialysis should be taken to a separate area in health facilities.

Health facilities should closely observe departments where senior patients and those with chronic diseases are being treated to ensure compliance of health officials, patients and their relatives.

Inpatients should be discharged from hospitals when their health is stable, and the time for follow-up examination should be extended for no more than 90 days for patients with chronic disease.

Patients should receive their health records and be given follow-up examinations at health centres or district-level hospitals near where they live.

The department also instructed health facilities to communicate with discharged patients via digital means or phone about counselling and guidance on self-care at their homes.

Health facilities should strengthen telemedicine for older patients and those with chronic diseases, according to the department’s instructions.

Speaking at an online conference with ministries, provinces and cities held on August 21, Dương Anh Đức, vice chairman of HCM City People’s Committee, said the city had had 16 COVID-19 incidences since July 25, including eight related to the outbreak in Đà Nẵng. The remaining had returned from other countries and were quarantined when they arrived at Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport.

These patients were treated at hospitals and their health is stable, according to Đức.

As many as 53,719 people have returned from Đà Nẵng to HCM City as of August 21, and they have been tested and have filled out health declarations.

The city had not recorded a locally transmitted COVID-19 incidence for 23 days, Đức said, adding that this reflected effective cooperation between local authorities and health officials in locating, tracing, testing and stopping the spread of the virus.

The city had isolated and tested 126 people who have entered the country illegally, including one who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. It was also carrying out surveillance of patients who had been discharged and those who had returned from quarantine areas in provinces. Foreign flight crews, seafarers and experts entering the city for work were still being quarantined.

Domestic terminals at airports should continue to be controlled, Đức said.

The city has 13 health facilities designated by the  Ministry of Health to conduct tests with the capacity of 9,000 samples per day. They aim to have more than 13,000 samples per day.

In the upcoming time, the Department of Health will have specific measures for people who are given priority for tests. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has been told to use software to supervise and classify people who are given priority for testing.

The city still requires limited gatherings and participation in nonessential activities. It has asked people to install the Bluezone application on their phones.The app helps detect and trace people who could be potential transmitters of the disease in the community.

People who do not wear masks in the city are fined. VNS