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Oxygen supply adequate despite rising number of Covid cases: health ministry

By Le Nga   July 16, 2021 | 08:50 pm PT
Oxygen supply adequate despite rising number of Covid cases: health ministry
Doctors at the HCMC Hospital for Tropical Diseases operate on a Covid patient. Photo courtesy of the HCMC Hospital for Tropical Diseases.
The Ministry of Health said Friday there is enough oxygen supply on hand to meet requirements even as the incidence of Covid-19 continues to grow.

Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said: "While there is adequate oxygen for medical use in general, every locality needs to improve coordination to ensure oxygen and infrastructure availability. Some localities might face an oxygen shortage."

He did not specify the exact volume of stocks the ministry has, yet requested all localities and hospitals from district levels to equip oxygen supply systems.

Luong Ngoc Khue, director of the ministry's Administration of Medical Examination and Treatment, said even facilities that treat mild Covid-19 cases need to prepare oxygen supply as those cases might turn for the worse.

Deputy health minister Nguyen Truong Son said some localities are seeing an uptick in the number of severe cases, and might not have enough ventilators.

As the number of cases continues to rise day after day, especially in HCMC, the ministry has taken certain measures to ease the burden on the healthcare system. They include designating hospitals for treating mild and severe cases, letting people who came into close contact with patients to be isolated at home instead of admitted to hospitals, and reduce the treatment time for asymptomatic and mild cases.

The coronavirus fighting strategy would slowly transition to one in which the number of patients in hospitals would reduce, with only the more severe cases being treated, he added.

The country has had 42,663 cases since the fourth wave hit in late April.

HCMC has accounted for the highest number of infections, 25,682.

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