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Hanoi ramps up Covid response amid resurgence

By Thuy An   November 19, 2021 | 03:00 am PT
Hanoi ramps up Covid response amid resurgence
Health workers at Hanoi's Phu Do Ward, a Covid-19 hotspot. Photo by VnExpress/Anh Hung
Hanoi has ramped up its Covid-19 treatment capabilities with the resurgence of new cases.

After a month of "new normal," Hanoi has recorded 17 new Covid-19 hotspots and over 1,500 new infections. On Nov. 15, the capital recorded 289 new cases, its highest daily infection tally yet. Authorities said the city’s coronavirus situation is growing more complicated with an upward trend of new infections.

Vu Cao Cuong, deputy director of the Hanoi Department of Health, on Wednesday said the city expects to set up over 520 mobile medical stations at industrial parks and other facilities. Thirty districts and towns have also dispatched personnel to operate the stations. The goal is to manage Covid-19 cases, perform tests, vaccination and other tasks, he said.

Such a model has already been applied in southern localities since August, especially in Ho Chi Minh City and Binh Duong, two major coronavirus hotspots. HCMC for example had erected over 400 mobile medical stations, Cuong added.

Truong Ky Phong, director of the Ha Dong District medical center, said 17 mobile medical stations would be located in 17 wards, and would start receiving patients as soon as there are instructions from authorities. Places like cultural houses, schools and kindergartens would be locations for the mobile stations. For now, a mobile station has been erected at a local kindergarten, capable of hosting up to 200 Covid-19 cases, Phong said.

"Plans are prepared so the stations could be activated as soon as the city requests. Along with quick contact tracing efforts, they would help prevent outbreaks from spreading," he added.

Hanoi has also created five facilities to receive mild and asymptomatic Covid-19 cases in five districts, with around 1,150 beds in total. They are located at either cultural and sport centers, schools and local clinics.

Hoang Bui Hai, head of the Emergency and ICU department of the Hanoi Medical University Hospital, said the hospital has started receiving mild Covid-19 cases to relieve the burden on other hospitals. Around 104 Covid-19 patients are being treated at the hospital, with around 70-80 percent mild cases.

The Covid-19 Patient Treatment Hospital, with Hai its deputy director, has around 500 beds distributed over 19 units. The hospital is equipped with separate air conditioning systems for each room to prevent cross-contamination. It is also being upgraded to eventually support around 700 people.

About 1,000 health workers from multiple disciplines were deployed to work at the hospital. They have been trained on determining the severity of each Covid-19 case, on operating ventilators and anti-clotting treatments, among others.

"If we need more personnel, they could be deployed from Hanoi Medical University Hospital and Medical University itself," said Hai.

Nguyen Van Thuong, director of the Duc Giang General Hospital, said the hospital is currently treating 150 Covid-19 cases and that there's around 17,000 cubic meters of oxygen available.

"The hospital is able to support up to 300 people with ventilators and 200 with oxygen support," Thuong said, adding it has tightened all procedures and trained its health workers for the Covid-19 fight.

Hospitals that don’t treat Covid-19 cases have also been required to screen its patients and request medical declarations from those entering.

For close contacts of Covid-19 cases, Secretary of Hanoi Party Committee Dinh Tien Dung on Tuesday requested the city to let them be quarantined at home. So far, Nam Tu Liem and Ha Dong districts have done so.

Elderly people, pregnant women, children and those with underlying medical conditions are eligible for home quarantine as close contacts of a Covid-19 case.

Hanoi has so far recorded over 7,000 Covid-19 cases and 54 deaths in the fourth coronavirus wave since late April.

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