and private specialised medical clinics to temporarily suspend operations from March 30.

The HCM City Department of Health has banned visitors of patients at hospitals amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Only one family member can stay to help take care of the patient. 

The instruction follows the requirements of the Ministry of Health and the city People’s Committee on temporary suspension of service establishments and limitations on concentrations of people at healthcare facilities. 

COVID-19 transmission between health staff and patients whose relatives stay at hospitals and those serving meals and others at health facilities has occurred at hospitals, most notably, Bạch Mai Hospital in Hà Nội.

Nguyễn Tấn Bỉnh, the department head, has required all hospitals in the city to ban relatives and families of patients visiting them from March 30. Only one family member can stay at hospital to help take care of the patient. Hospital staff are required to compile a list of these people. 

The visitors must fill out health declaration forms. 

 

Guards and people who provide hygiene services and laundering, and small supermarkets and canteens must be asked to fill out health declaration forms.

Bỉnh also has instructed hospital managers to divide their staff into groups to work in shifts to have backup personnel in case staff members are quarantined due to COVID-19. Working in shifts will last for three months.

If hospitals have cross-contamination cases, they should stop admitting patients except for emergency aid and quarantine all of them, Bỉnh said, adding that staff, patients and patients’ relatives should be tested for COVID-19.

Hospitals should also have areas for staff who take care of COVID-19 patients to take a rest after working and limit contact with their family and others in the community to reduce the risk of spread.

Hospitals in Đà Nẵng carried out a ban on visitors on the same day as HCM City. The ban will last until April 15.   

The ban has also been implemented in hospitals in Hà Nội.

Huế Central Hospital banned visitors on March 28. VNS