Hanoi sees Covid infections increase tenfold in a month

By Thuy Quynh, Thuy An   March 12, 2022 | 10:04 pm PT
Hanoi sees Covid infections increase tenfold in a month
Medics transfer an elderly Covid-19 patient from her home to the hospital, Feb. 13, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Pham Chieu
Hanoi has recorded an average of 30,000 new Covid-19 cases per day over the last week, a tenfold spike from a month ago.

The figure does not include nearly 200,000 cases that had been detected on previous days but was added to the national database on Saturday.

The Hanoi Department of Health expects the number of infections is expected to rise even further, but notes that the hospitalization rate is just 1-1.5 percent, showing a downward trend.

More than 95 percent of the treated Covid-19 patients have mild symptoms or are asymptomatic and the mortality rate is 0.4 percent.

With over 770,000 cases as of Saturday, Hanoi had become the locality with the highest number of infections.

Tran Dac Phu, a senior advisor with the Public Health Emergency Operations Center, said: "The number of infections reported by health authorities is not accurate because many patients do not report being infected or have declared infection but software updates are slow because of overloading."

He also said that it was difficult to predict Covid developments in Hanoi right now, but it "may take a few more weeks to hit its peak."

Meanwhile, the community health care system is overcrowded and finding it difficult to cope. Many patients have reported being unable to contact ward medical staff, and having to wait in line for confirmation of being infected. There have also been complaints of patients not being transferred to the correct facility in time after their illness became severe.

A medical center at the ward level that has to handle thousands of patients is staffed by just 8-10 people; and the situation is worsened by doctors contracting the virus and not being able to work.

According to Tran Thi Nhi Ha, director of the municipal Department of Health, the number of patients treated at the "upper critical level" is decreasing.

On Saturday, the Ministry of Health's Department of Medical Examination and Treatment reported approximately 4,000 cases being treated at hospitals in Hanoi, down nearly 2,000 cases from the previous week. The number of severe cases also fell by nearly 200 to 800.

Chu Ngoc Anh, Chairman of the City People's Committee, said the healthcare system would face a huge challenge if appropriate solutions were not found in time.

At the moment, Omicron is the most common Covid strain circulating in Hanoi.

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