HÀ NỘI — Deputy health minister Đỗ Xuân Tuyên has said that the COVID-19 outbreaks at two major hospitals in Hà Nội are still within control.
He was speaking during a virtual meeting on Wednesday with medical staff and leaders of the two facilities currently under lockdown after a cluster of infections were found at the Kim Chung facility of the frontline COVID-19 treatment hospital National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Đông Anh District, and the Tân Triều facility of the National Cancer Hospital (frequently called K Hospital) in Thanh Trì District.
Phạm Ngọc Thạch, Director of the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases, said at the moment the facility is housing 372 staff, 305 patients and 41 relatives who are taking care of the patients.
The hospital is treating 284 COVID-19 cases and 21 patients afflicted with other diseases, and Thạch wants to transfer these 21 patients to other medical facilities in Hà Nội – after they have tested negative for the coronavirus two or three times – to avoid risks of infections.
All medical staff who treat COVID-19 patients are negative for the virus since the prevention and control measures are quite strict, so it’s likely the source of infections could have come from the ICU wing or patients who went to the examination wing.
Genetic sequencing results also indicated the patients connected to the tropical diseases hospital’s cluster carry the Indian variant of coronavirus (B1.617), but most of the patients don’t show any clinical symptoms.
Lê Văn Quảng, Director of the K Hospital, said the hospital has not recorded any new cases within the locked-down facility since May 7.
The hospital is facing great pressure due to the number of cancer patients that have had to delay their examination and treatment, Quảng said, asking for more support to help test the contacts of confirmed patients that are quarantined at the hospital to leave for treatment at other facilities.
All the people under lockdown have tested negative, so Quảng wanted to reopen the faculties not affected by COVID-19.
Deputy health minister Tuyên asked that the two hospitals review prevention and control measures – especially COVID-19 screening of incoming patients – to remove the lockdowns as fast as possible.
He asked that the two hospitals conduct COVID-19 testing on all its staff – especially at high-risk faculties like emergency units, respiratory, or infections faculties – every seven days.
Public announcement systems at the hospitals must frequently broadcast messages to urge compliance with basic prevention measures like wearing masks, making health declarations and avoiding large gatherings.
"I personally and delegations from the health ministry all see good compliance (with COVID-19 prevention and control measures) from the hospitals when the inspections are carried out, but whether or not the hospitals maintain that level of compliance is another question," Tuyên said.
The hospitals should also issue guidelines on limiting the number of visitors to inpatients during the time of outbreaks, Tuyên said.
He also agreed that the K Hospital could resume operations of some faculties if safe conditions are met but the hospital should work with Hà Nội health authorities regarding this issue. — VNS