City Dept of Health develops emergency plan for COVID-19

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A COVID-19 screening room at Trưng Vương Hospital in HCM City. Source http://www.medinet.hochiminhcity.gov.vn/

HCM CITY— The HCM City Department of Health has developed an emergency plan for COVID-19 outbreaks under three scenarios of fewer than 100, 200 and 500 positive cases.

The plan is being made because of pandemic developments including new variants and outbreaks globally.

The department will continue to use available personnel and facilities at designated hospitals for treatment of COVID-19 patients.

These hospitals include Củ Chi Field Hospital with 300 beds, Cần Giờ COVID-19 Treatment Hospital with 600 beds, HCM City Hospital for Tropical Diseases with 40 beds at its Department for Transmissible Diseases D, and City Children’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital 2.

These hospitals will be ready to increase the number of beds to admit COVID-19 patients and others suspected of having COVID-19 if an outbreak occurs.

If the hospitals become overloaded, the department will use Phạm Ngọc Thạch Hospital’s 464 beds to admit COVID-19 patients.

The department has instructed hospitals in the city to prepare doctors and nurses to be available for examination and treatment of COVID-19 patients if necessary.

These doctors and nurses will have to receive training in professional knowledge on treatment and control of infections, and ensure safety for medical staff as well as patients.

Last year, Củ Chi Field Hospital and Cần Giờ COVID-19 Treatment Hospital were the two main health facilities isolating and treating COVID-19 patients and suspected cases. This was done to help reduce pressure and risk of transmission at city hospitals.

The hospitals’ doctors and nurses came from other hospitals in the city and worked on a rotation system.

The department has also instructed the 115 Emergency Centre to continue carrying out its task of transporting COVID-19 patients to designated hospitals for treatment.

Hospitals have helped the city Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) to take samples for testing at Tân Sơn Nhất airport, and bus and railway stations.

Besides Pasteur Institute and the CDC, tests are conducted by the HCM City Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Children’s Hospital 1, City Children’s Hospital, and Phạm Ngọc Thạch, Nguyễn Tri Phương, District 2, Thủ Đức, FV, Gia An 115 and Hoàn Mỹ Sài Gòn hospitals, as well as several hospitals owned by the Ministry of Health and other agencies.

This year, more hospitals in the city will be assessed for their capacity to conduct COVID-19 tests.

The department has instructed hospitals to prepare medicine, chemicals and protective clothes as well as equipment for their medical staff when they are called for emergencies.

It has also required all hospitals and health facilities to review and assess safety criteria in COVID-19 prevention and control. They have been ordered to ask their patients to fill out online health declarations.

Since February 5, when online health declarations began at hospitals and health centres in the city, 127 private and public healthcare facilities have used the department’s health declaration application.

By March 8, all hospital and health centre in the city will have to use the application.

According to the department, hospitals should offer training courses for their doctors and nurses in screening, isolating and taking samples for tests, and treatment guidelines related to COVID-19 issued by the Ministry of Health.

Hospitals have also been instructed to take samples for testing all of their staff by March 10.

Following the Ministry of Health’s requirement, the department is collaborating with Chợ Rẫy Hospital to set up an expert team specialising in COVID-19 treatment to assist other hospitals that admit severely ill COVID-19 patients who need emergency treatment. VNS

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