Health authorities on Tuesday resumed the operation of COVID-19 field hospital No. 12 in Thu Duc City under Ho Chi Minh City in preparation for treating patients who may contract the Omicron coronavirus variant.
The Ho Chi Minh City Hospital of Dermato Venereology urgently mobilized 45 doctors and nurses to COVID-19 field hospital No. 12, Dr. Nguyen Trong Hao, director of dermatology, said on Tuesday.
The field hospital is dedicated to receiving overseas returnees testing positive for COVID-19, while its staff are making preparations to admit patients carrying the Omicron variant whenever the new variant is detected in the city.
On Tuesday, the facility received two sailors who entered Vietnam by sea and tested positive for the coronavirus by the real-time RT-PCR method.
The two patients are currently in quarantine at the field hospital while experts from the Ho Chi Minh City Hospital for Tropical Diseases are conducting gene sequencing on their testing samples to verify if they are infected with the Omicron, with the results expected to arrive in the next few days.
The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health has yet to issue guidelines on treatment regimens for patients infected with the new variant, according to Dr. Hao.
Health authorities have yet to detect any Omicron infection in Vietnam as yet.
The Omicron variant, first detected in South Africa last month, triggered alarms globally of another surge in infections, with more than two dozen countries from Japan to the United States reporting cases.
The World Health Organization classified it on November 26 as a “variant of concern.”
There has been no evidence to suggest that symptoms associated with the new variant are different or more severe than those of other variants, or that current vaccines and therapeutics would be ineffective against it, scientists said.
Vietnam has documented 1,337,523 patients since the COVID-19 pandemic first struck early last year, with 1,011,656 recoveries and 26,700 deaths.
More than 73.6 million of the country’s 98 million people have received at least one dose while over 55 million are now fully immunized.
The Ministry of Health recorded 13,840 new coronavirus infections and 217 virus-related deaths on Tuesday.
Ho Chi Minh City has remained the country’s biggest COVID-19 epicenter, with 480,448 infections and over 18,400 deaths as of Tuesday, according to the health ministry.
The southern city reported 965 cases and 57 fatalities on Tuesday.
City authorities had restructured COVID-19 field hospitals given the policy of living safely with COVID-19, with district-level quarantine facilities being shut down, but infections have been on the rise recently.