Severely ill COVID patients are treated at the HCM City Hospital for Tropical Diseases. — Photo courtesy of the hospital
HCM CITY — Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính has asked seven ministries to establish special working groups to support HCM City and southern provinces in their fight against the COVID-19 outbreak.
The seven groups, each led by a deputy minister, will work with HCM City and southern provinces to resolve arising problems in pandemic prevention.
The group leaders will report to the ministers and the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control on a daily basis, as well as propose issues that need to be resolved but that are beyond their authority.
The seven ministries are National Defense, Industry and Trade, Agriculture and Rural Development, Transport, Construction, Information and Communications, and Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.
In mid-June, a special standing department was set up to help HCM City battle the fourth COVID-19 wave, which is headed by Deputy Health Minister Nguyễn Trường Sơn.
The PM has also asked the city and the southern provinces to report about the need for doctors, nurses and medical technicians.
Cities or provinces that have not yet applied social distancing under Directive 16 will report to the PM and the steering committee by July 20 about their capacity to help provide healthcare staff to HCM City and southern provinces.
PM Chính has also ordered the city and provinces to improve treatment and prioritise resources to treat severe COVID-19 cases.
He has asked Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam to direct ministries, cities and provinces to solve urgent and newly arising problems on behalf of the Government.
The PM also called on people and businesses to stay calm and strictly follow the social distancing measures.
Centre for COVID treatment
The Military Hospital 175 under the Ministry of National Defense yesterday opened a centre for COVID treatment for severely ill patients, which was completed within 24 hours, as requested by the ministry.
The 200-bed centre is fully equipped with staff and machines to ensure treatment of moderately and severely ill patients.
The treatment centre consists of a Board of Directors and five departments, including 42 doctors and 65 nurses and medical technicians, to provide treatment for mild, moderate and severe cases.
All the medical staff at the centre are experienced in COVID-19 prevention and control.
Major General Nguyễn Hồng Sơn, director of Military Medical Hospital 175, said the centre had ensured enough human resources, medical equipment and facilities, and was ready to receive and treat patients.
HCM City has recently converted empty resettlement buildings into field hospitals to help cope with the surging numbers of COVID patients. More than 2,600 resettlement apartments are being used in the Thủ Thiêm New Urban Area in Thủ Đức City.
The city has also set up an additional 24 field hospitals to ease the pressure on city hospitals.
The city has prepared a scenario for 50,000 COVID-19 patients.
The city has recorded more than 33,000 locally transmitted cases, the highest number in the country, since the end of April. On July 18, it recorded 4,692 cases, the highest number in a single day since the outbreak early last year.
The national caseload has reached more than 50,201 cases across 58 cities and provinces since the end of April.
As of July 19, the government has ordered social distancing under Directive 16 in the southern provinces, which mandates closures of non-essential businesses for 14 days.
Directive 16 also orders people to stay home unless extremely necessary. Gatherings of two or more people in public is forbidden and public transport is halted.
Provincial and municipal governments are applying additional measures depending on the situation in each city or province.
The affected provinces and cities in the south are Cần Thơ City, Bình Phước, Tây Ninh, Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu, Tiền Giang, Long An, Vĩnh Long, Đồng Tháp, Bến Tre, Hậu Giang, An Giang, Bạc Liêu, Sóc Trăng, Trà Vinh, Cà Mau and Kiên Giang.
HCM City and Bình Dương and Đồng Nai provinces have been applying strict prevention measures since July 9. — VNS