Covid-19 lockdown: Hanoi hospital lacks food, necessities for 3,500 inmates

By Le Nga   March 30, 2020 | 01:53 am PT
Covid-19 lockdown: Hanoi hospital lacks food, necessities for 3,500 inmates
Nguyen Quang Tuan, director of Hanoi's Bach Mai Hospital, inspects a section of a field hospital erected inside Bach Mai, March 29, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/The Anh.
Hanoi’s Bach Mai Hospital, locked down Saturday as a major Covid-19 outbreak area, doesn't have enough food and necessities for around 3,500 people.

This includes 800 patients who could neither be discharged nor transferred anywhere else. About 552 of them are patients with kidney failures who require hemodialysis. About 100 others are patients’ relatives staying behind to take care of their loved ones, while most family members have been transferred to a quarantine zone in the Hoa Lac area, said Nguyen Quang Tuan, director of the Bach Mai Hospital.

The 3,500 people trapped inside, including doctors, nurses and other staff, cannot go outside to purchase even the most basic things like toothbrushes and toothpaste. The hospital has had to provide such necessities for them, said Tuan. It is difficult for essential supplies, either ordered by the hospital or provided by the community, to get through checkpoints at the hospital, he added.

Additionally, as Bach Mai's cafeteria has been identified as a major source of Covid-19 infection, it has been closed and all its employees quarantined. This happened after several employees of the Truong Sinh Company, which supplies food and water to the hospital, were found infected. Despite Bach Mai having already hired another company to provide meals for those inside the hospital, their nutritional quality has been wanting, Tuan said.

"We also need special meals for patients with diabetes, young patients and so on," he said.

The lack of nurses and doctors to treat patients has also been a challenge, as over 200 doctors and nurses of Bach Mai have had to be quarantined, many in their own homes, after having had close contact with Covid-19 patients.

The current number of doctors and nurses inside Bach Mai cannot carry out their tasks for long if they don't have enough necessities including food, Tuan said.

Hanoi, with 77 Covid-19 infections, is the locality with the highest number of cases among Vietnam's current tally of 194. Of these, 55 have been discharged from hospitals, including the largest single-batch release of 27 from a Hanoi hospital Monday morning.

The Bach Mai Hospital, in Dong Da District, has been identified as a major Covid-19 outbreak area in Hanoi. At least 25 confirmed cases were found to be associated with the hospital.

The Covid-19 pandemic has so far claimed more than 34,000 lives in 199 countries and territories.

go to top