A treatment area in HCM City Intensive Care COVID-19 Hospital based in HCM City Oncology Hospital in Thủ Đức City. — Photo Courtesy of the Ministry of Health
HÀ NỘI — Doctors and medical personnel from three central-level hospitals across Việt Nam will help set up three COVID-19 intensive centres with 3,000 beds in HCM City in a bid to reduce the number of deaths amid rising number of seriously ill patients.
Health Minister Nguyễn Thanh Long said during a meeting on Thursday that the Hà Nội-based Việt Đức, Bạch Mai and Huế Central hospitals will be assisting local staff in the treatment of patients in a critical condition.
Long said that the southern city was struggling to cope with unprecedented COVID-19 outbreaks that are the largest and toughest to contain to date, despite the increasingly drastic measures that HCM Cit authorities have implemented.
He went on to say that despite the rising case numbers the city was on the right track.
“The whole country is very concerned about the situation in HCM City,” he said.
“The top priority for the city at this time is to save patients with serious health conditions and reduce fatalities,” he said.
Aside from medical staff the ministry will also send managers and administrators of leading hospitals across Việt Nam to work in HCM City.
Director of Việt Đức Hospital Trần Bình Giang has been designated the director of another intensive care hospital based in Thủ Đức City with a capacity of 500 beds.
The National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hà Nội will support Việt Đức Hospital to treat patients with serious and very serious health problems.
Giang said that Việt Đức Hospital had arranged for 30 per cent of its human resources to head to HCM City.
“We – health workers are willing and ready to work any time but medical equipment and material as well as logistics must be ensured,” he said.
Director of Bạch Mai Hospital Nguyễn Quang Tuấn will work as director of the intensive care centre based in HCM City’s 16th Field Hospital which provides 500 beds for seriously ill COVID-19 patients.
Bạch Mai Hospital’s top medical workers, who previously served at major outbreaks in former hot spots of Hải Dương, Bắc Giang and Bắc Ninh provinces in the north, are also heading to HCM City.
Huế Central Hospital will also assist in setting up an intensive care centre at HCM City’s 13th Field Hospital.
HCM City’s Chợ Rẫy Hospital is currently operating the HCM City Intensive Care COVID-19 Hospital based in the HCM City Oncology Hospital in Thủ Đức City with a capacity of about 1,000 beds.
Deputy Health Minister Nguyễn Trường Sơn, who is leading the ministry’s taskforce to support HCM City in COVID-19 prevention and control, said that to ensure effective operations of such intensive care centres, the city needs to open a monitoring centre that coordinates and assists in the treatment of critical COVID-19 patients at the three centres.
The city also had to ensure a steady supply of medical equipment and supplies for treatment, Sơn said.
Nguyễn Minh Tuấn, head of Medical Equipment and Medical Works Management Department under the Health Ministry said that there was no shortage of oxygen for COVID-19 patients.
The department was working with oxygen suppliers, and asking them to ensure proper supply to meet the demand of the COVID-19 prevention and control activities, Tuấn said.
Some manufacturers with specialised products will shift to produce oxygen and liquified gases if needed, Tuấn said.
Vũ Tuấn Cường, head of the ministry’s Drug Administration said that medical supply is currently meeting demand.
For some specialised drugs and medical supplies, the Drug Administration informed and requested treatment facilities to immediately review their stocks and report back to the administration.
The administration would re-allocate such drugs and medical equipment so that treatment facilities had enough to use.
Regarding medical examination and treatment, Director of the Department of Medical Examination and Treatment Lương Ngọc Khuê said that ten central hospitals were supporting HCM City.
Other central hospitals were asked to be ready to give further support once requested, Khuê said.
Also at the meeting, Health Minister Long asked HCM City to speed up vaccinations so that about 70 per cent of the total number of people aged over 18 years old in the city would receive one dose by the end of next month.
HCM City now has a population of nearly 9 million people, of that 6.99 million people are over 18 years old. Until now, 977,418 people in the city received one shot while 62,234 people have got two shots.
Việt Nam reported 2,821 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday morning with HCM City documenting 1,715 infections.
Since the pandemic hit the country early last year, Việt Nam has confirmed 123,640 cases.
The number of new infections since the fourth wave of outbreaks hit the country on April 27 amounted to 119,863. In the fourth wave, HCM City has reported about 79,000 cases. — VNS