250 Saigon children orphaned by Covid-19

By Thu Anh, Hong Chieu   September 9, 2021 | 02:00 am PT
250 Saigon children orphaned by Covid-19
Two kids leave a Covid-19 centralized quarantine facility in HCMC's Thu Duc City in June along with a family member, June 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa
The latest coronavirus outbreak in Ho Chi Minh City has taken away the parents of 250 children and left thousands infected.

A total 250 orphans have lost either their fathers or mothers, or both parents to Covid-19, Dang Hoa Nam, head of the Department of Child Affairs under the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, told an online meeting on protecting children in the pandemic Wednesday.

"It is worrisome as many children have lost their loved ones, which easily causes psychological trauma," he said.

The epicenter of Vietnam’s fourth Covid-19 wave, which started late April, HCMC has so far registered 273,154 community cases and 11,074 deaths.

In the year to date, the city has recorded 14,800 children under 16 with Covid-19. Of these, 12,000 have recovered and 13 have died, according to the municipal Health Department.

Among the 3,052 existing child patients in the city, most have no or mild symptoms and are isolated at home for treatment, with doctors monitoring them from afar.

For children treated at home, doctors have set up online chat groups and hotlines to directly guide parents and caregivers on what to do every day and in case of emergency.

Those with moderate symptoms, respiratory failure, showing risks of growing severe or suffering underlying diseases (cancer, chronic kidney failure, hemophilia, obesity, etc.) must be hospitalized, said Nguyen Minh Tien, deputy director of HCMC Children's Hospital.

"The rate of children turning severe and critical in Vietnam is about 1 percent," he said, adding that it is much lower than 20 percent among adults.

According to the Child Affairs Department, for the ongoing wave, the nation has recorded more than 11,800 child Covid-19 patients.

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