Can Tho to set up two field hospitals in preparation for Covid-19 surge
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Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long on April 26 tasked Can Tho authorities to urgently set up a regional field hospital holding around 800 beds. Other provinces with long borders, including An Giang, Dong Thap, etc., should also speed up the establishment of makeshift medical facilities. He made the decision after surveying Covid-19 control situation in Cuu Long Delta.
Dr. Luong Ngoc Khue, Director of the Medical Administration under the Health Minister, said the Western region was highly vulnerable to new Covid-19 outbreak. In this scenario, Can Tho field hospital will be the “extended arms” in charge of Covid-19 treatment of the Health Ministry and Cho Ray hospital. Its No. 1 task is to establish an emergency department equipped with Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation system (ECMO), emergency techniques for cardiovascular, respiratory and infectious diseases, etc. to serve critical Covid-19 patients.
Meanwhile, another regional field hospital is scheduled to open at Phong Dien Medical Center. Leaders of Can Tho province also decided to set up a 200-bed field hospital on local scale at Binh Thuy district’s Medical center.
“Can Tho hospital is ready for emergent events. If medical personnel from 44 hospitals in the city are all mobilized, we can manage around 1,200 Covid-19 cases,” Mr. Nguyen Phuoc Ton, Deputy Director at Can Tho Department of Health was quoted by VNE as saying.
He further stressed that setting up field hospitals in advance was necessary given the surging pandemic worldwide, including neighboring countries like Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, India. There have been constant warnings of a more devastating fourth wave in Vietnam.
Can Tho is a key traffic point of the Western region. Therefore, the city must well manage quarantine procedures while improving testing and contact tracing level.
“The Health Ministry is very concerned about the complicated pandemic from neighboring countries. The Southwest border area has a large number of both illegal and legal entrants. Thus, it is highly vulnerable to imported cases and new outbreaks,” Long said.
Earlier, two makeshift hospitals were also set up in Ha Tien city. 13 medical experts from Cho Ray hospital are heading to Kien Giang province to help local personnel set up the medical establishment and treat Covid-19 patients.
The medical team consists of specialists in resuscitation, artificial kidneys, infection control, according to Dr. Nguyen Tri Thuc, director of Cho Ray hospital.
Once arrived at Kien Giang, the crew will set up one Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for Ha Tien General hospital – the frontline medical facility of Kien Giang in the Covid-19 battle. The ICU will be equipped with ECMO machine (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) and hemodialysis machine.
The experts also plan to coordinate with local authorities to survey and develop an urgent plan to set up two field hospitals in Ha Tien city and Rach Gia city, each has a capacity of 500 patient beds. The plan will then be submitted to the Ministry of Health for approval.
Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long stressed that Kien Giang is a Covid-19 hotspot and very vulnerable to imported infections, given its long border with Cambodia (over 56km). He added the Health Ministry was always ready to offer expertise and technical support.
In addition, the Ministry tasked Ho Chi Minh City Pasteur Institute to work with localities to establish qualified testing laboratories in Ha Tien and provincial general hospital, in a bid to improve productivity and on-site testing capacity.
“We must strengthen Covid-19 prevention efforts at border areas to prevent illegal entry, get ready for unexpected situations”, Long said while checking Covid-19 prevention implementation Ha Tien border gate and Kien Giang quarantine center, on April 18.
According to the spokesperson from Kien Giang anti-epidemic committee, Kien Giang province has over 14km of land border and around 26km sea border. Ha Tien International Border Station has established 44 fixed posts, 4 guard posts, 4 mobile teams, 4 high-speed canoes to perform duties and prevent people from entering and leaving illegally.
The border post has so far received 3,373 overseas Vietnamese returnees, and 25 individuals violating regulations on residence and entry from Cambodia authorities. Two illegal trespassing were seized.
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