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Doctor Nguyen Van Vinh Chau, Deputy Director of the HCM City Department of Health, said the number of weekly newly cases is 73.5 per 100,000 people. The figure is equal to Level 3 risk.

However, since the city has a very high vaccination rate of people aged over 18 (99 percent) and a high vaccination rate of people aged over 65 (91.8 percent), HCM City has been put at Level 2.

Chau said since the number of new cases is still high, HCM City has to apply measures designed for Level 3, the high-risk level.

There are three indicators for the assessement of level of pandemic risk – the number of new community infections, the coverage of vaccinations, and the ability to receive and treat patients.

Meanwhile, from now to the end of October, 2021, the city will have to cope because the medical staff from other cities and provinces to help HCM City fight the pandemic on peak days are leaving.

“We need to be extremely vigilant about pandemic risks at this moment,” Chau said.

He expressed concern after seeing people becoming complacent after hearing that the city is at Level 2, and knowing that the vaccination rate is high and the mortality rate is on the decrease.

He stressed that if people don’t observe the 5K principle, forget to wear protective masks, don’t keep necessary distance, and don’t observe regulations set by the Ministry of Health (MOH), the virus will spread and the number of cases will increase.

If so, the number of patients with severe symptoms will increase, thus creating difficulties for the healthcare sector.

To cope with the problems which may arise in the future, the city has built four scenarios corresponding with the numbers of new infections per 100,000 people a week.

Scenario 1: equal to Level 1 risk

To cope with the problems which may arise in the future, the city has built four scenarios corresponding with the numbers of new infections per 100,000 people a week.

Asymptomatic patients and patients with mild symptoms will be treated at home and will be put under the control of local medical units.

The patients who need hospitalization will be taken to the 3-story Field Hospital No 16 being managed by Gia Dinh People’s Hospital. The Covid-19 Wards of the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, HCM City Children’s Hospital and Tu Du Hospital will also receive cases.

“This is the best scenario, to occur when we can live together with Covid-19,” Chau said.

Scenario 2: pandemic is controlled, number of new infections equal to Level 2

Asymptomatic cases with mild symptoms will be treated at home and put under the control of local medical units.

 

The patients who need hospitalization will be carried to Field Hospitals No 13 and 16. The field hospitals at district levels and Covid-19 wards of the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, two children’s hospitals, Tu Du and Hung Vuong Hospitals.

Scenario 3: the pandemic is controlled, but number of infections is equal to Level 3. This is the current situation of the city.

Asymptomatic cases with mild symptoms will be put under the control of 155 mobile medical units. Each of the units will be in charge of 50-100 cases.

The cases that need hospitalization will be brought to Field Hospitals No 13, 14 and 16. The ICUs of Military Hospital 175, Cho Ray Hospital and Hospital of Tropical Diseases will also be used. Some children’s hospitals and two obstetricians' hospitals will also treat Covid-19 patients.

Scenario 4: the worst, when Covid-19 breaks out again at Level 4

Asymptomatic cases with mild symptoms will be taken care of by mobile medical units and Covid-19 community groups.

The cases that need hospitalization will be received by all hospitals, ICUs and fields hospitals at district levels with 300-500 beds.

Severe and critically ill patients will be treated at three field hospitals in the city.

It’s estimated that there will be 16,000-19,000 beds for Covid-19 patients, 6,500 beds with oxygen and 2,000 ICU beds.

If this scenario occurs, the city will be at the highest level of operation to treat Covid-19 patients, and the situation of one month ago will recur.

Chau said all districts in the city will assess their pandemic risks weekly in every ward and commune and submit reports to the city. The information will be made public on the city’s electronic information portal.

According to the HCM City Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, as of 6pm on October 24, the city had recorded 425,674 positive cases officially declared by MOH. It is now treating 10,996 patients.

On October 24, 689 patients were hospitalized, 539 were discharged from hospitals and 40 deaths were reported. The deaths since January 1 have totalled 16,514.

As many as 7,146,125 people have received at least one vaccine shot in the city, and of the figure, 5,603,627 have received two doses. 

Linh Giao

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