HCMC to invest $8.4 million on equipment to tackle nCoV epidemic

By Trung Son   February 9, 2020 | 04:35 am PT
HCMC to invest $8.4 million on equipment to tackle nCoV epidemic
Doctors inside the nCoV patient isolation ward at Saigon's Cho Ray Hospital, February 3, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.
The HCMC health department has proposed that the city spends VND194 billion ($8.4 million) on equipment needed to fight the novel coronavirus epidemic.

In its proposal submitted to the HCMC People's Committee Friday, the department suggested purchasing three specialized ambulances worth VND25.5 billion ($1.1 million) and medical equipment including medical ventilators, dialysis machines and portable X-ray scanners for about VND106 billion ($4.56 million).

The remaining amount would be spent on reserve equipment such as face masks and necessary chemicals like disinfectants.

The department said these items were urgently needed for treating infected patients and preventing further spread of the nCoV infection. The equipment would be provided to the HCMC Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Children's hospitals 1 and 2, City Children's Hospital, Pham Ngoc Thach Hospital, 115 Emergency Center and HCMC Center for Disease Control.

The health department and the municipal Military Command are also constructing a VND255 billion ($11 million) field hospital with facilities in two locations.

The first facility with 300 beds, including 20 post-treatment recovery beds, is located at the City Military School in Cu Chi District, while the second facility with 200 beds, including at least 10 post-treatment recovery beds, is located in Phu Xuan Commune, Nha Be District.

The field hospital would be equipped with medical equipment including ventilators, monitors, X-ray scanners, protective clothing and five ambulances, and would be staffed by doctors from other hospitals in the city such as 115 People's Hospital, Gia Dinh People's Hospital, Nguyen Tri Phuong Hospital and Trung Vuong Hospital.

HCMC currently has three confirmed nCoV infection cases and one of them was discharged by the Cho Ray Hospital. The city has also been monitoring 34 people who had come into contact with infected patients. 

Vietnam confirmed its 14th nCoV infection in the northern province of Vinh Phuc on Sunday. Out of the 14 confirmed cases, three have been discharged from hospitals: a Nha Trang hotel receptionist, a Chinese man from Wuhan, and one of the workers who returned from Wuhan. The country declared the nCoV outbreak an epidemic on February 1.

The global death toll of the epidemic has reached 813 – one each in the Philippines and Hong Kong, and the remaining in mainland China.

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