|One block at the Sunview Town apartment building in Thủ Đức city was locked down on May 18 after a tenant tested positive for COVID-19. — VNA/VNS Photo Đinh Hằng|
HCM CITY— Hospitals in HCM City have set up separate areas for health declarations, COVID-19 screenings and emergency aid areas as required by the city Department of Health following two new domestically transmitted cases found in the city.
All patients and visitors at these hospitals use only one entrance and exit door.
Before entering HCM City Children’s Hospital 1 in District 10, patients and their relatives must first fill out a health declaration and then go to a COVID-19 screening area near the motorcycle parking lot, which is separate from the hospital’s examination and treatment facilities.
Patients who have visited COVID-19 hotspots and have symptoms such as fever and cough are taken to the hospital’s quarantine area which is separate from inpatient facilities.
At the City Children’s hospital, one stall for checking body temperature and filling out online health declaration forms has been set up in front of the health examination and treatment door.
Besides these separate areas for health declarations and screenings, Thống Nhất Hospital in Tân Bình District has a sign that guides patients with a fever and cough to follow a path to these specific areas.
Guards at the City International Hospital in Bình Tân District check body temperature of patients at the hospital doors.
Patients with symptoms then go to two places in front of the hospital for a rapid test. If the test result is positive for coronavirus, the patients will be taken to a negative pressure room on a separate path to take another test. If the test result is still positive, these patients will be transferred to the city Hospital for Tropical Diseases for treatment.
According to the department, these separate areas set up at hospitals have helped to reduce the transmission risk between COVID-19 patients and others.
For example, a patient who visited Vinmec Central Park International Hospital in Bình Thạnh District tested positive at the hospital’s COVID-19 screening space that is separated from the examination facility. The patient was then taken to the hospital’s negative pressure room for isolation.
The department said that hospitals in the city should continue maintaining separate areas for health declarations, COVID-19 screenings and emergency aid as the outbreak is still active in the country.
Hospitals with enough capital resources should set up more negative pressure rooms, it said.
Staff at the Vinmec Central Park International Hospital came into close contact with a patient, but they tested negative because of the staff's strict compliance with wearing masks and protective clothing. The department instructed hospitals in the city to continue to provide protective clothing to their staff and check their compliance with this regulation.
Thanks to the database from online health declarations at all hospitals in the city, staff from the city Department of Health found the patient’s information which showed that he had also visited Thủ Đức City Hospital. The staff then announced that the hospital would carry out preventive measures against transmission and spread.
“The database is very important for tracing, localising and stopping the spread,” the health department said.
The Vinmec staff identified the patient as high risk and took him to a screening chamber and quarantine area for testing.
According to the HCM City Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (HCDC), the city recorded two more domestically transmitted cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday (May 18), including one in Thủ Đức City’s SunView Town apartment building and the other in District 7.
The two patients work at the same company in District 3’s Ward 6.
The patient in Thủ Đức had symptoms on May 17. His family's four members have tested negative for coronavirus.
The patient in District 7 on May 5 returned from the COVID-19-hit city of Hải Phòng on a VN1179 flight. She had a fever on May 8 but went to a drugstore to buy medicine instead of visiting a hospital.
On May 11, she resumed working at the company with the patient from Thủ Đức city. The company’s employees who had close contact with the two patients have tested negative for coronavirus.
Based on this information, HCDC affirmed that the transmission source was from the patient from District 7. The centre is also investigating the transmission source for this patient from District 7. They said it could have come from outside the city.
Sixty samples taken from people living in the same apartment building as the patient tested negative for coronavirus the first time, HCDC said.
The city is also tracing people who were on the same flight from Hải Phòng City.
The Department of Health has assigned health officials at hospitals to set up 45 teams to take samples from 10,000 people related to the confirmed patients, including 6,000 at the Sunview Town apartment building and 4,000 at Saigon Hi-tech Park in Thủ Đức city as of May 19.
Some have tested negative for coronavirus, but the rest are still waiting for results. — VNS