Da Nang injects capital into local health sector to better equip coronavirus fight

By Nguyen Dong   January 30, 2020 | 03:57 am PT
Da Nang injects capital into local health sector to better equip coronavirus fight
Visitors wear face masks as they arrive at Da Nang railway station in Da Nang City on January 29, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong.
Vietnam’s central hub Danang City has better equipped its hospitals in preparation for the fight against the Wuhan coronavirus.

The Da Nang government Wednesday approved a health department proposal to spare VND20 billion ($860,000) from the city’s budget to buy more equipment to detect and treat patients with pneumonia caused by the nCoV virus.

The sum will be spent on an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), a life support machine for those suffering a severe and life-threatening illness that stops their heart or lungs from working properly, ten ventilators, a machine that breathes for patients or helps them breathe, ten patient monitors, 30 electric syringes, two portable ventilators, 30 infusion machines, 10 feeding machines and a portable X-ray machine.

The municipal health sector also plans to use Da Nang Hospital for Lung Diseases, which has up to 140 beds, as backup in case more patients are found to be infected with the new coronavirus.

Ever since the outbreak started in December in China’s Wuhan City, Da Nang has quarantined a total 52 people showing symptoms of coughing and fever, all from areas of outbreak in China.

So far, 24 have been discharged from hospital after testing negative, including ten foreigners.

Those still in quarantine include ten Chinese, two Malaysian, and 16 Vietnamese. All of them have stopped coughing and only some still suffer a slight fever.

As Da Nang and Khanh Hoa along the central coast are top destinations for Chinese tourists in Vietnam, other localities in the central region have also taken preventive measures to stop the disease from spreading.

Quang Tri Province has set up two remote body temperature meters at its La Lay and Lao Bao border gates along with tens of handheld thermocouples to quickly detect those with high fever that enter Vietnam. Staff have been assigned to both border gates as well as at the Cua Viet sea gate to conduct medical checks around the clock.

Anyone arriving with symptoms of fever, headache, vomiting and dizziness will be quarantined.

On Wednesday, Nghe An Province formed four quick response teams with 30 staff in total to take action against any possible infection.

Thua Thien-Hue Province on Monday set up a temperature meter along with quarantine rooms at Phu Bai Airport and Chan May Port.

Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue and Nghe An have yet to report a single case of infection.

The Ministry of Health confirmed Thursday that three Vietnamese nationals have tested positive for the new pneumonia virus that’s killed 170 people in China. Two of the citizens are Hanoians and the other belongs to the central province of Thanh Hoa.

One patient is being treated at Thanh Hoa General Hospital and the others at the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Hanoi. All three of them had returned recently from China’s Wuhan City, the epicenter of the epidemic.

As of Thursday afternoon, Vietnam has recorded five cases of individuals infected with the new coronavirus. Two Chinese nationals were confirmed on January 23 as Vietnam's first cases of nCoV infection.

Li Zichao, 28, one of the two Chinese nationals, a father and son duo, had recovered by Tuesday morning, But his father remains on a ventilator, doctors at Cho Ray Hospital in HCMC said Wednesday.

The government has deployed various measures to combat the virus, including keeping out tourists from China’s epidemic-hit areas and quarantining Chinese workers returning to Vietnam after Tet.

The virus has spread from mainland China to Hong Kong, Macao, Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, Japan, Australia, the U.S., South Korea, France, Germany, Canada, Vietnam, UAE, Nepal, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, India and the Philippines.

Chinese authorities say 170 people had died of the disease as of Thursday morning. The number of confirmed infections has topped 7,819.

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