MoH underlines the importance of protecting COVID-hit hospitals

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Minister of Health Nguyễn Thanh Long works with leaders of the two central hospitals, including the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases and the Cancer Hospital following the detection of the contagion at the hospitals. Photo baochinhphu.vn

HÀ NỘI — The Minister of Health said it was vital to protect the two central hospitals – the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases and the Cancer Hospital – which were locked down following the detection of local COVID-19 cases.

Speaking at a conference with the two hospitals on Friday, director of the Cancer Hospital Lê Văn Quảng said the hospital has recorded 11 cases of SARS-CoV-2. Quảng asked the Government for permission to transfer the COVID-19 patients to the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases for treatment.

Regarding anti-pandemic measures, he said the hospital decided to temporarily lockdown all three branches from 5.30am on Thursday.

The hospital has inspected and conducted tests as well as prepared plans and isolated areas for critically-ill patients.

Director of the Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases Phạm Ngọc Thạch said after detecting the first infection, the hospital has conducted testing for all staff and found more than 42 cases.

The Ministry of Health locked down the entire hospital from 8:00am on Wednesday and made a list of 685 people who were at the site from April 20 to May 5 for tests.

Currently, as many as 1,435 samples from medical staff, patients and family members have been tested at two facilities in Đông Anh and Giải Phóng.

The hospital has also zoned the campus into different areas for COVID-19 treatment. Patients’ relatives have been moved to a private area.

On Saturday, the hospital conducted the second COVID-19 test on patients, family members and medical staff. The results will be announced on Saturday night.

Thạch said that after inspections were conducted, doctors concluded the source of infection was from the community.

At the meeting, he asked the ministry to approve the transfer of non-COVID-19 patients to surrounding hospitals for safety. Patients who had tested negative for the virus twice would be sent to Bạch Mai Hospital’s second facility in Hà Nam Province for further monitoring and treatment.

Thạch said the hospital has recorded the circulation of virus strains detected in the UK and India, including B.1.1.7 and B.1.617.

Meanwhile, the hospital is at high risk of infection as patients come from all over for treatment and some COVID-19 cases showed no symptoms.

The hospital leader asked the Deputy Prime Minister and leaders of the Ministry of Health to consider only treating COVID-19 patients and halting other treatments.

At the meeting, Minister of Health Nguyễn Thanh Long said the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases was the stronghold of the northern region in terms of COVID-19 prevention and control. It was the main facility treating COVID-19 patients and supporting other health facilities nationwide.

He agreed to transfer COVID-19 patients who had tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 twice to Bạch Mai Hospital’s second facility in Hà Nam Province for further monitoring and treatment.

He also agreed that the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases would only give treatment to COVID-19 patients.

Long suggested the leaders of the two hospitals organise a shift pattern to reduce pressure on medical staff.

He stressed the importance of protecting the two hospitals from the pandemic, saying testing must be done as soon as possible.

The Ministry of Health would continue to work with the Ministry of Finance to develop a special mechanism to support hospitals to ensure pandemic prevention and control, he said. — VNS

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