Saigon's fourth field hospital for Covid-19 quarantine set up near airport

By Trung Son   March 2, 2020 | 10:25 pm PT
Saigon's fourth field hospital for Covid-19 quarantine set up near airport
The field hospital set up inside the military school of the 7th Military Region in HCMC's District 12. Photo courtesy of the 7th Military Region newspaper.
A field hospital has been readied near Saigon's Tan Son Nhat International Airport to check Vietnamese returning from areas hit by coronavirus.

The 1,000-bed hospital is at the military school of the 7th Military Region in District 12 and is 12 km from the airport.

Colonel Nguyen Van Hoang, deputy head of the HCMC High Command, said it is the fourth field hospital the city has set up after others in the districts of Cu Chi (300 beds), Nha Be (200) and 7 (100).

The establishment of the latest field hospital came after authorities estimated last Saturday that some 7,000 locals will return to southern Vietnam from South Korea. They are among 200,000 Vietnamese living and working in South Korea, where the number of confirmed cases is second only to China.

The plan was to send the returning people to the field hospital in District 12 straight from the airport.

But it was subsequently decided on Sunday that the HCMC and Hanoi airports will stop receiving flights from South Korea after too many Vietnamese in South Korea returned home, overloading field hospitals in the two cities.

Can Tho is now the only airport in southern Vietnam receiving flights from South Korea, and people arriving on them are quarantined locally. Can Tho has so far received more than 1,150 passengers while Van Don Airport in Quang Ninh, which takes over the job for Hanoi's Noi Bai Airport, has received more than 900 arrivals from South Korea.

For now, the fourth field hospital in HCMC has to wait to admit patients, but it is fully prepared, according to authorities.

South Korea has reported 4,812 infection cases so far, mostly in Daegu and nearby North Gyeongsang. As of Monday morning 34 people had died of Covid 19, the disease caused by the virus.

Vietnam last week announced to suspend entry for people arriving from all coronavirus-hit epicenters.

Those who have to enter Vietnam for state affairs or other special reasons have to complete health declaration procedures and stay in quarantine for 14 days.

Citizens of countries stricken by Covid-19 but from cities and provinces free of the epidemic will have to submit a health declaration and follow procedures deemed necessary when entering Vietnam.

Vietnam has not detected any new cases since February 13, and all 16 confirmed patients, including two Chinese nationals and one Vietnamese-American, have been discharged from hospitals after quarantining and treatment.

As of Tuesday another 75 are suspected to have the virus. None of them are in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City or Da Nang, the country’s three biggest cities.

The global death toll has risen to 3,125 and the virus has spread to 76 countries and territories.

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