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Four COVID-19 field hospitals in HCM City to temporarily close as outbreak eases


Củ Chi COVID-19 field hospital. — VNA/VnExpress News Photo

HCM CITY — HCM City will temporarily shut four COVID-19 field hospitals from January 19 since the pandemic situation is improving.

The Department of Health made the decision to close them until further notice and “give medical staff time to recover their health” since only around 30 per cent of beds are currently being used to treat COVID patients.

The four are Field Hospitals No. 3 and No. 10 in Thủ Đức City, No. 5 in District 5, and the Củ Chi Field Hospital.

Staff working there will return to their regular medical facilities, and patients who continue to need treatment after January 19 will be transferred to other hospitals.

According to the department, the new Omicron variant might cause another large outbreak, and so the city must always be prepared to deal with the pandemic.

If these hospitals are instructed to reopen again, they have to do so within 24 hours.

Field hospitals open during Tết have to make plans for rotation of personnel until February 15.

The department will also allocate more staff to Field hospital No. 12 in Thủ Đức City, which admits and treats Omicron patients.

HCM City, the country’s COVID epicentre, has seen the number of new cases decline since December.

Deaths have also reduced steeply, with only 15 recorded on January 14 compared to 64 a month earlier.

The city’s risk level has been designated as ‘low level – new normal’ / green code for the past two weeks, which mean most activities can be carried out and businesses can operate normally, with prevention measures like avoiding large crowds and mask wearing still in place.

100 per cent of adults (people aged 18 years and above) have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccines, while over 88 per cent of the people older than 50 years have been fully vaccinated.

Fully vaccinated 82-year-old woman becomes Việt Nam’s 51st Omicron case

Việt Nam has recorded a further imported Omicron case, an 82-year-old woman being treated at the HCM City Hospital for Tropical Diseases.

The woman arrived at Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport on January 10 on a flight from the United States, tested positive for coronavirus (from a rapid test at the airport), and was moved to No.12 COVID-19 field hospital in Thủ Đức City as per protocol.

Since the patient was at elevated risk given her age, had various underlying conditions and breathing difficulties, she was transported to HCM City Hospital for Tropical Diseases.

Lê Mạnh Hùng, deputy director of the city’s tropical diseases hospital, said that at the time of hospitalisation, the woman struggled to breathe, felt very tired, had swelled legs, and the condition was predicted to get worse.

The hospital moved the patient to a separate quarantine as a precaution before receiving confirmation from the genomic sequencing team at Oxford University Clinical Research Unit and the hospital that she was infected with Omicron.

It was reported that the woman received the full two doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine two months ago.

Currently, her condition has improved and she can talk to staff and take care of her basic needs, Hùng said.

The woman is the 13th Omicron case in HCM City, and 51st in the country.

The previous 12 cases in the southern city were asymptomatic or mild cases, and have been discharged from hospital.

A total of 2,000 people on the same flights, and those coming into contact with the 12 cases have tested negative for coronavirus, according to HCM City health authorities. 

Việt Nam’s coronavirus cases have exceeded 2 million, as the country logged 16,378 new infections on Saturday.— VnExpress News

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