City unveils scenario for coping with increasing number of severely ill COVID-19 patients

July 07, 2021 - 07:49

The HCM City Department of Health has developed a scenario to adapt to the increasing number of severely ill COVID-19 patients.


Candidates who will sit the national high school graduation examination on July 7-8 are tested for COVID-19 on July 3. VNA/VNS.Photo Thu Hoài

HCM CITY— The HCM City Department of Health has developed a scenario to adapt to the increasing number of severely ill COVID-19 patients.

If the number rises to 500, the department will allow Thủ Đức COVID-19 Treatment Hospital to admit severely ill patients. The hospital has only been admitting COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms.

The department has told the hospital to evaluate machines and staff, especially those who can perform resuscitation well.  

The department has asked hospitals designated for treatment of COVID-19 patients to increase the number of beds and prepare facilities, machines and human resources for emergencies and resuscitation of severely ill patients.

The Hospital for Tropical Diseases has been instructed to work with the HCM City Association of Emergency and Resuscitation to organise training courses for hospitals on resuscitation of severely ill COVID-19 patients.

The Department of Health’s planning and finance division will support COVID-19 treatment hospitals with essential equipment, especially ventilators, X-ray machines and others for resuscitation. The division will also give guidance to these hospitals on how to buy equipment for emergency and resuscitation purposes.    

The department’s human resource division will also arrange plans to assign doctors and nurses to work turn by turn at COVID-19 treatment hospitals. 

The department’s medical affairs division will check COVID-19 treatment hospitals to comply with the Ministry of Health’s protocol of diagnosis and treatment of the disease.

Isolating at home

On July 5, the Department of Health proposed a pilot programme of isolation of F1 cases (close contacts of COVID-19 patients) at home instead of at mandatory quarantine facilities. This is expected to reduce overcrowding and limit transmission at mandatory quarantine facilities.

The F1 cases belong to groups having contact with COVID-19 patients, but not regularly; working with COVID-19 patients, but sitting two metres from them; and taking care of people aged more than 60 years old, children, pregnant women, and people with disabilities.

People who have stayed at quarantine facilities for 14 days and test negative for coronavirus on the 14th day of quarantine will continue their quarantine at home for 14 more days. Earlier, these people had to stay in quarantine facilities for 21 days.  

Districts 3, 6, 7, 10, 11, Phú Nhuận, Nhà Bè and Cần Giờ will isolate these F1 cases at home, starting on July 5, as part of the pilot programme.

By July 19, the Department of Health will evaluate the piloting results and expand it to other districts and for high-risk groups.  

The F1 cases isolated at home will be tested on the first, 7th, 14th, 20th and 28th day of quarantine. They should comply with the Ministry of Health’s guidelines, including staying in a separate room and not eating with family members. The isolation room should be cleaned and disinfected every day.

Local health centres are in charge of examining and verifying the isolation room at homes, checking the health of the F1 cases every day, and taking samples from the F1 cases.

Testing establishments

Many people in HCM City have rushed to hospitals for COVID-19 tests because they need a paper to confirm that they are negative as Đồng Nai Province requires this document for people who want to enter the province.

The city has 28 health facilities authorised by the Ministry of Health to perform COVID tests.      

The public hospitals’ prices are from VNĐ238,000 to VNĐ350,000 (US$10-15) for a rapid test and VNĐ734,000 ($31.9) for a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

Private hospitals charge VNĐ2 million to VNĐ4 million per PCR test.

The average time for getting results, depending on the test, is from 30 minutes to two hours.

Positive test results

Among more than 85,000 candidates who will sit for the national high school graduation examination on July 7-8, 18 pooled samples tested positive for coronavirus.  

Health officials are testing each of the candidates who were included in the pooled samples.

Candidates who tested negative for coronavirus will sit the exam as scheduled.

Those positive for coronavirus will sit the exam at a later time. The Ministry of Education and Training has not set the date yet. VNS