HCMC reports falling Covid death toll

By Le Phuong, Thuy An   September 10, 2021 | 01:22 am PT
HCMC reports falling Covid death toll
Inside a Covid-19 intensive care unit in HCMC's Thu Duc City, July 19, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Nguyen
In the first eight days of September, HCMC recorded 237 Covid-19 deaths per day on average, dropping 38 against the previous eight day average.

According to insiders, the strategy of classifying patients has played a significant part in decreasing Covid-19 deaths.

The city has for weeks been categorizing Covid-19 patients into three groups for treatment: 1) patients with asymptomatic or mild symptoms and no chronic diseases who can be treated at home or quarantine facilities; 2) patients developing symptoms and needing to be hospitalized; and 3) severe and critical patients.

For the strategy of having patients treated in quarantine facilities, 191 district-level facilities have been set up across the city to have patients taken care of and monitored by medics and local task forces that have gone through medical training.

Experts have said the solution has eased the burden on hospitals that have already been overloaded, prevented patients from turning severe, and at the same time, allowed patients to receive emergency aid immediately should they need it before they are transferred to hospital.

Nguyen Tri Thuc, director of the HCMC Covid-19 Resuscitation Hospital in Thu Duc City, said the strategy of categorizing patients has not only helped Covid-19 recovery amid slight conditions but also allowed early detection of patients that could suffer serious conditions to provide timely intervention and avoid serious progression.

In many cases, hospitals treating patients in group 2 have been able to help severe patients overcome dangerous situations on their own without having to make transferals to intensive care units (ICU), which has contributed to making rooms available to critical patients reliant on the ICU, Thuc said.

"The key to decreasing Covid-19 deaths lies at hospitals in the group 2. If they do a good job, patients will not turn critical and vice versa," he said.

In the past week, the average daily death rate at the Covid-19 Resuscitation Hospital has decreased by about 50 percent compared to before.

The city currently has nearly 5,000 ICU beds for resuscitation and 82 hospitals in group 2 that provide more than 60,000 beds in total.

Another important factor contributing to the reduction in the mortality rate is that more people have got vaccinated, said Nguyen Hong Son, director of 175 Military Hospital and in charge of the hospital’s Covid-19 treatment center.

As for what has happened so far at the hospital, those that have been vaccinated did not suffer the same serious conditions as those who have not received the jab, he said.

In addition, Vietnam has recently boosted the use of antiviral drugs and anticoagulants in treating patients, which has helped lower the number of critical cases, he added.

Ho Chi Minh City in early August had raised the alarm over a high rate of critical Covid-19 patients and deaths.

Back then, the city had yet to let patients be treated at home or district-level quarantine facilities, and with more than 3,000 new cases added every day, hospitals across the city could not take in everyone.

Meanwhile, the Delta variant had caused many patients to turn critical and die without getting the treatment they needed in time.

For those qualified enough to treat themselves at home, the city has set up 471 mobile healthcare stations aside 312 quick response teams to offer medicines and needed medical equipment to patients.

The municipal health department said in a recent report the Covid-19 death toll would keep decreasing after Sept. 15.

So far in Vietnam’s fourth Covid-19 wave that started late April, HCMC, the epicenter, has recorded 278,703 patients and 11,409 fatalities.

"Medicine package for Covid-19 patients" campaign aims to support patients self-isolating at home. Each donation worth VND380,000 ($16.65) can help buy medicine for one patient. For more information regarding donation methods, kindly refer to this link.

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