Saturday , January 28 2023

HCMC unveils response plan against new Covid variants


HCMC healthcare authorities have 10,000 hospital beds on standby as a precaution amid the appearance of new Covid-19 variants.

The Department of Health said that of the 10,000 beds 1,000 would be for intensive care.

As the highly infectious XBB subvariant of Omicron has been detected in the southern metropolis, and a lot of travel takes place during the holidays, the chance of variants entering Vietnam is high, which could trigger new outbreaks, it warned.

If required, one field hospital in the city would be reactivated, it said.

The department has called on all hospitals, medical centers and the HCMC Center for Disease Control (HCDC) to stand by 24/24 to diagnose and treat infections.

Preventive measures will also be ramped up at border gates and ports. The HCDC will be on duty 24/7 at Tan Son Nhat Airport and check temperatures of arrivals. Those with possible symptoms will be taken to a temporary quarantine area for quick tests.

Anyone testing positive will be transferred to the HCMC Hospital for Tropical Diseases to undergo RT-PCR tests and viral genetic sequencing.

The same protocol will be in place at ports.

The city will continue with its Covid vaccination efforts throughout Tet to make sure people get enough doses.

The Ministry of Health has recently been calling for vigilance against Covid during Tet, which will come next week. Nguyen Luong Tam, deputy head of the General Department of Preventive Medicine, said immunity would wane over time while new variants would keep showing up, meaning the trajectory of the disease would be hard to predict.

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