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Ho Chi Minh City halts first COVID-19 field hospital as tough time passes

Ho Chi Minh City halts first COVID-19 field hospital as tough time passes

Saturday, October 16, 2021, 10:30 GMT+7
Ho Chi Minh City halts first COVID-19 field hospital as tough time passes
Ambulances are parked at the COVID-19 field hospital No. 4 in Binh Chanh District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health

Friday was the last day the COVID-19 field hospital No. 4 in Ho Chi Minh City was in operation as the city authorities began the gradual restructuring of COVID-19 makeshift hospitals, Nguoi Lao Dong (Labor) newspaper reported, citing the municipal Department of Health.

The health department said that the makeshift hospital, which is located in the Vinh Loc B resettlement area in Binh Chanh District, has completed its mission, with no coronavirus patients under its treatment currently.

The hospital discharged its last inpatients on Thursday, according to leaders of the Ho Chi Minh City Children’s Hospital, who managed the venue.

Authorities expect to officially dissolve the infirmary sooner than their original schedule, the end of November, as the COVID-19 pandemic has been put under control in the city.

Medical teams that had come to the hospital to assist the fight against COVID-19 also returned to their units.

Currently, the authorities are keeping 20 beds with oxygen tanks and only one of the buildings with a capacity of 200 beds in the Vinh Loc B resettlement area in operation.

About 20 doctors, nurses, and logistics workers from the Ho Chi Minh City Children’s Hospital are on standby at the COVID-19 field hospital No. 4, ready to handle new coronavirus patients when needed.

The hospital originally included 20 buildings divided into four zones on an area of over 30 hectares.

Each building has four floors, no elevators, and 40 rooms with a capacity for 180 to 210 patients.

The hospital had been put into official operation on July 7 before its emergency rooms and intensive care unit with a total of 185 beds equipped with oxygen tanks were established.

It had received a total of 16,129 COVID-19 patients, including 2,523 children and 706 people above 65 years old, as of Thursday.

The infirmary reported 61 deaths and 551 patients with worsened conditions that needed to be transferred to higher-level COVID-19 hospitals, accounting for 0.38 percent and 3.4 percent of its total patients, respectively.

At the peak of the current virus wave, the hospital handled 4,089 patients, including 176 requiring respiratory and circulatory support, at the same time.

During the 100-day operation, 20 medical workers and 33 militiamen, or 6.6 percent of the hospital’s staff members, contracted the coronavirus.

All of them have been successfully treated and recovered from the disease.

The suspension of the COVID-19 field hospital No. 4 in Binh Chanh District went in line with the municipal health department’s plan to gradually restructure its system of COVID-19 field hospitals between the end of this month and December.

Health authorities had put 15 district-level makeshift hospitals into operation as of October 8, providing nearly 7,000 beds for COVID-19 patients.

Of these, the COVID-19 field hospitals No. 3, 6, and 8 in the Thu Thiem resettlement area in Thu Duc City will be the last to bite the dust at the end of December.

In the meanwhile, those three institutions, with oxygen supplies and resuscitation beds, will continue admitting coronavirus inpatients after other infirmaries at the same level are shuttered.

The restructuring comes as the city’s daily infections have been on a downward trajectory, from nearly 4,700 cases on September 29 to 1,131 on Friday.

Over 7.1 million of its nearly-nine-million population have been given at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and above 5.3 million have been fully vaccinated, according to the national COVID-19 vaccination portal.

The hardest-hit locality since the fourth virus wave struck Vietnam on April 27, Ho Chi Minh City has reported 415,875 local patients, accounting for half of the national tally of 852,986 community transmissions. Its death toll has reached 15,961 fatalities, according to the Ministry of Health’s data.

Vietnam has registered 857,639 patients, including 788,923 recoveries and 21,043 deaths, since the pandemic first struck it early last year.

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