HCMC runs Covid outbreak drills for Tet

By My Y   January 17, 2023 | 04:51 pm PT
HCMC runs Covid outbreak drills for Tet
People run drills to respond to potential Covid-19 outbreaks by re-activating a field hospital in HCMC, January 17, 2023. Photo courtesy of the HCMC Department of Health
The Ho Chi Minh City Health Department performed drills on Tuesday to prepare for potential Covid-19 outbreaks amid the emergence of more contagious Omicron subvariants.

The city’s Department of Health prepared the drills by re-activating a local field hospital.

The drill was to prepare for the hypothetical scenario in which the XBB and the XBB.1.5, two highly infectious Omicron subvariants, were to circulate during the Tet holiday.

The presence of the XBB subvariant has been detected in HCMC and its neighbor Tay Ninh Province, while the XBB.1.5 has yet to be detected in Vietnam.

"As demands for travel and commerce increase during Tet, there’s the risk of the XBB subvariant quickly spreading and the XBB.1.5 subvariant appearing," the department warned.

The hypothetical scenario takes place during the span of the Tet holiday, from January 20 to January 26, when the HCMC Center for Disease Control (HCDC) and the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU) detect the presence of a new Omicron subvariant in the southern city. The number of Covid-19 cases multiplies 3-4 times in several hospitals, including the HCMC Hospital for Tropical Diseases.

In the scenario, the Covid-19 department at the HCMC Hospital for Tropical Diseases has used 50 out of 70 beds for intensive care, while other hospitals also see 50% of their beds used. However, no deaths are recorded.

In the scenario, Field Hospital No. 13 would be re-activated within 24 hours, with 100 ICU beds ready to receive patients with severe Covid-19. The scale of the field hospital could be adjusted depending on the situation.

The health department would prepare 100 ventilators and 100 monitors by amassing resources from different hospitals. The HCMC Hospital for Tropical Diseases would prepare medicine and equipment for 100 beds.

Fifty-four doctors would be dispatched to take care of patients with severe Covid-19, and there would be at least 27 doctors specialized in ICU along with 108 nurses.

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