HCM City’s District 9 hospital to be used for COVID-19 treatment hinh anh 1The HCM City Department of Health uses the Can Gio district's Health Centre as a hospital specialising in treatment of COVID-19 (Photo: VNA)
HCM City (VNA) - The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health will temporarily use the HCM City Oncology Hospital’s District 9 facility to treat COVID-19 patients.

Dr Tang Chi Thuong, the department’s deputy head, at an online meeting between the department and hospitals early this week, instructed relevant divisions and hospitals to ensure there are enough doctors and nurses there.

A temporary coronavirus hospital each in Cu Chi district and the Can Gio District Health Centre are the only ones now used to treat people with the disease.

The Can Gio facility will see the number of beds increased to 600 since its quarantine area is no longer because people are being sent to other sites in the district.

The department’s planning and finance division is working with the city Centre for Diseases Prevention and Control to ensure there is adequate preventive equipment for health workers at these hospitals.

Thuong said hospitals should strengthen surveillance of compliance with regulations to prevent health staff from contracting infections.

The HCM City Hospital for Tropical Diseases is shifting patients with all other tropical diseases except tetanus to other general hospitals in the city for continued treatment.

The department wants it to focus on COVID-19 but avoid cross-contamination, and so the number of beds for COVID-19 patients will increase soon to 400 from 80 now.

Thuong also instructed each hospital to set up a negative air pressure cleanroom with essential equipment for COVID-19 patients who need surgery.

The Health Department of Ho Chi Minh City on March 17 officially put into operation a 300-bed hospital specialized in treating acute respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) in Can Gio district.

This is the second facility exclusively reserved for the quarantine and treatment of COVID-19 patients besides the first one in Cu Chi district.

Deputy Director of the Health Department Tang Chi Thuong said the new hospital will reduce the workload on the Hospital for Tropical Diseases when the number of COVID-19 cases is increasing in the city.

He added that the establishment of a specialized hospital will also reduce the risk of cross-infection.

The same day, the Health Ministry also gave permission to the HCM City Children Hospital No1 to perform SARS-CoV-2 tests, bringing the number of facilities allowed to do such tests in the city to three.

Secretary of the HCM City Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan has asked relevant agencies to further strengthen COVID-19 prevention and control measures so that the number of cases in the city is contained within 300.

Its health facilities could take in 1,200 patients with COVID-19 at a time, but when one person gets the illness, 280 people have to be quarantined, he told an online meeting with the city Steering Board for COVID-19 Prevention and Control on March 24.

So if the city has 300 patients, 84,000 others have to be quarantined, and they could not accommodate 10 percent of that number, he said.

He said the country is trying to prevent the number of COVID-19 cases from rising to 1,000, and so the city should not allow it to exceed 300. Experiences from COVID-19-hit countries have shown that 100 increased to 1,000 within 10 days and to 2,000 within three days.

So the next 10-14 days would be important and decisive for the city and the country, and it is a big challenge requiring the public, and relevant organisations and agencies to join the prevention effort, he said.

If there are 2,000 new cases a day, hospitals with thousands of beds would not be enough and there are not enough quarantine areas either, he warned.

By 7pm on March 26, HCM City reported 36 COVID-19 cases, of whom three have fully recovered./.