Jul 16, 2021 / 22:00

JULY 16: Vietnam urged to prepare oxygen for worse pandemic situation

Vietnam’s top leaders have warned local authorities of the worse-case scenario in the face that the southern region is grappling with Covid-19.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Health on Friday [July 15] required the health system to prepare for oxygen reserves for possible increases in emergencies.

 Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam at a meeting on July 16. Photo: VGP

Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said the ministry has sufficient oxygen supply for the higher number of Covid-19 infections but local authorities also need to prepare themselves for the worse situation.

“The oxygen supply is abundant but each area needs to have oxygen and equipment in place. Some localities are at risk of oxygen deficiency,” Long said at the meeting with authorities of 63 cities and provinces on Friday.

Accordingly, he required all grassroots hospitals to equip oxygen system, including high flow nasal cannula (HFNC) for critical patients.

Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Truong Son said it’s better for local hospitals themselves to prepare oxygen supply to get ready for the worse situation rather than waiting for support from the central government.

Associate Prof. Luong Ngoc Khue, head of the ministry’s Medical Examination and Treatment Department, said all clinic facilities need to ensure oxygen supply in case Covid-19 patients get worse. Khue reminded health professionals who take care of patients with underlying diseases, asking intensive care units to apply oxygen therapy timely.

According to Son, the country’s mortality rate is 0.43% on average, more than 0.6% in Ho Chi Minh City, and even higher in the southern province of Dong Thap. Meanwhile, the world’s average is 2.15%.

At the meeting with Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on July 15, Health Minister Long said the health sector has built a scenario of 100,000 infections and was preparing for it.

On the same day, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, who is also head of the National Standing Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, said the southern region gets ready for the worse situation with more infections in the time to come.

“All cities and provinces urge residents stay home and go out when necessary,” Dam said at the meeting with southern affected localities.

The deputy PM requested the Health Ministry to continue supporting lab products and medical supplies to affected areas to help them be very active in the fight against Covid-19.

 Health workers at a makeshift hospital in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Dan Tri
Daily infections

Today, Vietnam confirmed additional 3,321 infections, the second day having more than 3,000 cases.

The newest infections lift the total cases to 44,131, including 10,016 have recovered, and 225 deaths.

Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) remains top localities for the number of infections with 23,913, followed by Bac Giang 5,729, Binh Duong 2,175, Bac Ninh 1,618, Dong Thap 1,039, Tien Giang 731, Hanoi 570, and Danang 361.

Ho Chi Minh City warns of another lockdown period

So far, HCMC has undergone a week of the 15-day partial lockdown. The city’s leaders said the restrictions have helped reduce community transmission but the number of infections remains high.

Health Minister Long predicted that the city will continue seeing a surge in the infections in the next days.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Phan Van Mai said today that the city has warned of the possible longer restrictions if the pandemic will not be under control.

Mai said the local government has built three scenarios including the pandemic will be brought under control, the pandemic remain widespread with rising infections, and the pandemic continues to evolve with so much cases.

For each scenario, the city will have certain solutions, he said.

Meanwhile, Hanoi is tightening control over the pandemic by conducting massive testing people from the pandemic-stricken areas. It has identified more than 10,000 returnees from the affected places and will finish testing on July 14-18.

The capital city has warned of infections in industrial parks and built a scenario of 5,000 Covid-19 infections in industrial parks to prepare facilities and manpower for it.

 Vietnam's Covid-19 cases. Source: MoH. Chart: Minh Vu