Leading COVID-19 treatment hospital under lockdown after doctor tests positive

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Positive COVID-19 cases brought to the Đông Anh campus of the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases for treatment in July 2020. — VNA/VNS Photo Minh Quyết

HÀ NỘI — The National Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Hà Nội, the northern region’s leading COVID-19 treatment facility, will be locked down for two weeks starting today until May 19 after a doctor tested positive for coronavirus.

Chairman of Hà Nội People’s Committee Chu Ngọc Anh said the lockdown aims to quickly put the outbreak under control and keep frontline doctors and medical staff safe in the fight against the pandemic, as he inspected the hospital’s COVID-19 prevention and control measures today and had talks remotely with the in-quarantine hospital’s leaders.

Phạm Ngọc Thạch, director of the hospital, said after the news of the positive test of its doctor, 827 people present at the hospital – doctors, medical staff, service workers, patients and relatives, including 101 COVID-19 patients currently under its care – have been tested.

Of the 400 samples that have been processed so far as of early Wednesday afternoon, 14 have returned positive, including two medical staff, eight patients that are in the hospital for treatment of other diseases, and four relatives of inpatients.

Earlier today, Thạch said both campuses of the hospital – one on Giải Phóng Street, Đống Đa District, and one in Kim Chung Commune of Đông Anh District – will temporarily halt reception of inpatients starting today until further notice.

Thạch also asked the hospital’s departments to notify and put up instruction signs so that patients coming to get follow-up examination can be referred to the appropriate medical facility.

From today, all practitioners, patients’ families, and medical staff at the Kim Chung campus will have to be isolated and prevention measures will be enhanced to prevent risks of cross-infection within the hospital.

Earlier yesterday, Hà Nội authorities announced a doctor of the hospital tested positive for COVID-19 after a business trip overseas. The doctor’s travel history was quite complex with many direct contacts in five districts of the city – Đông Anh, Ba Đình, Đống Đa, Tây Hồ, and Hoàng Mai, during the public holiday over the weekend.

He resided in Ba Đình District’s Ngọc Khánh Ward and went to a karaoke bar called Moonlight at No.54 Chùa Láng Street, Đống Đa District, on April 29.

Thạch said the initial assessment shows the source of the infection likely comes from within the hospital itself.

The National Hospital of Tropical Diseases has treated the largest number of COVID-19 patients in the country since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and no deaths related to COVID-19 have occurred here while all seriously ill cases have been successfully treated.

During various waves of infections hitting the country, the hospital has provided critical support to worst affected localities including Quảng Nam, Đà Nẵng, Huế and Hải Dương.

During the lockdown period, the hospital will only receive COVID-19 patients. — VNS

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