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Ho Chi Minh City COVID-19 hospitals need more ambulances

Ho Chi Minh City COVID-19 hospitals need more ambulances

Saturday, July 17, 2021, 10:31 GMT+7
Ho Chi Minh City COVID-19 hospitals need more ambulances
Ambulances are parked at the COVID-19 field hospital No.1 established inside the campus of the Vietnam National University-Ho Chi Minh in Thu Duc City, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Dr. Nguyen Thanh Tam /Handout via Tuoi Tre

Hospitals for COVID-19 treatment in Ho Chi Minh City have been in dire need of more ambulances added to their current fleet of only one or two vehicles to help improve the transportation of severe patients.

Dr. Nguyen Thanh Tam, general planning manager at the COVID-19 field hospital No.1 established inside the campus of the Vietnam National University-Ho Chi Minh -- where nearly 250 doctors and health workers are treating about 4,500 asymptomatic patients in Thu Duc City, said at least 20-30 severe cases there needed to be transferred to higher-level hospitals on a daily basis.

With only two ambulances, the hospital had to arrange for three to four patients to share one ambulance per trip.

“We urgently need one more ambulance to transport patients on time and avoid delaying the emergency treatment for the patients,” said Dr. Tam.

Dr. Le Manh Hung, director of the COVID-19 Hospital in Can Gio District which has been hospitalizing 600 patients with mild symptoms, said that having only one ambulance to transport patients on the two-hour-driving distance between the hospital and the city center is a headache.

“We only have one ambulance, but it’s too old to be installed with an oxygen system,” said Dr. Hung.

“When transporting severe cases at night, we just can pray the vehicle would not break down in the middle of the road,” the doctor added. 

Cho Ray Hospital in District 5 lent Dr. Hung’s hospital one more ambulance on Friday afternoon, but that is not enough. Further, it will have to be returned after one or two months. 

“We are looking forward to having one more ambulance to ensure timely emergency care for seriously ill patients,” Dr. Hung said.

The COVID-19 field hospital No. 3, which is set up at a resettlement apartment complex in Thu Duc City for the treatment of 2,000 COVID-19 patients, has been in no better situations, if not worse, with only two ambulances borrowed from Le Van Thinh Hospital in the same city and the 115 Emergency Center in District 10.

“We look forward to being equipped with one more ambulance to ensure patient transport and enhance the hospital’s ability in receiving patients,” Dr. Pham Gia The at the field hospital No. 3 said.

Ho Chi Minh City has established 23 hospitals for COVID-19 treatment, with a total capacity of more than 45,000 beds.

Those hospitals are divided into four classes -- including 11 hospitals with 30,000 beds for symptomless and mildly-infected patients, five hospitals with 2,500 beds for symptomatic patients, four hospitals with 3,000 beds for patients with underlying diseases, and three hospitals with 1,200 beds for severe and critically ill patients.

The Ministry of Health reported 2,105 local coronavirus infections, including 1,769 in Ho Chi Minh City, taking the national tally to 46,292 patients on Saturday morning.

The new infections increased the southern city’s caseload to 25,682 -- the highest number countrywide in the ongoing infection wave.

Recoveries stand at 10,020 while the death toll remains at 225.

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