HCMC prepares for 80,000 Covid patients scenario

By Le Phuong   July 24, 2021 | 05:28 am PT
HCMC prepares for 80,000 Covid patients scenario
Medical staff take care of a critically ill Covid patient at HCMC Covid-19 Resuscitation Hospital in Thu Duc City, July 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Nguyen.
HCMC, epicenter of the ongoing outbreak, is preparing to add more public hospitals for Covid treatment or mobilize private hospitals as the number of infections tops 80,000.

The municipal Department of Health has categorized Covid patients into five groups: those being asymptomatic and having no underlying diseases, those with mild symptoms, those with moderate and severe symptoms, those with underlying medical conditions or suffering comorbidities prior to Covid-19, and critically ill patients.

In case the number of infections crosses 80,000, the city would turn existing infrastructure into specialized facilities for receiving and treating Covid-19 patients based on these five groups.

Quarantine facilities in all 21 districts and Thu Duc City would receive 40,000 of the first group, who are asymptomatic and have no underlying diseases, but have been found infected with the virus through rapid testing.

The city would arrange at least one doctor and two nurses to care for every 50-100 patients in this group.

For those with mild symptoms, the city would prepare 21,600 beds at field hospitals. For every 25 patients there would be one doctor and two nurses.

There will be 8,000 beds to treat patients with moderate and severe symptoms and having underlying medical conditions. For every 20 patients, there will be one doctor and two nurses.

Patients with underlying medical conditions or suffering comorbidities prior to infection would have access to 6,400 beds. One doctor and two nurses would be responsible for every 10 patients.

Covid-19 resuscitation hospitals with around 4,000 beds would be responsible for treating critically ill patients. One doctor and two nurses would take care of every five people.

To offset the number of treatment beds in this scenario, many private hospitals could be mobilized including Hoan My Saigon General, Trieu An, City International, and Nam Sai Gon International, along with other facilities like Van Hanh, Hoan My Thu Duc and Xuyen A, with a total of over 9,600 beds.

Public hospitals like Dermatology, Post and Telecoms, Transportation, Orthopedics and Rehabilitation and some other district hospitals would be completely repurposed into facilities for Covid-19 treatment with more than 4,100 beds.

The common difficulty among all hospitals is their lack of doctors specializing in emergency and resuscitation to treat the group of critically ill patients, which are at a high death risk. Ho Chi Minh City is increasing human resources from provinces and cities mobilized by the Ministry of Health and promoting short-term thematic training on resuscitation for critically severe patients.

According to the HCMC Center for Disease Control, as of Saturday morning, city hospitals are treating 37,407 patients. Among these, 619 in critically ill condition are on ventilation while 12 are reliant on the life support machine called extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).

So far, the city has reported 55,870 infections and 496 deaths. Not all deaths have been officially recorded by the Health Ministry.

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