31st Sea Games - Vietnam 2021 Covid-19 Pandemic
Apr 11, 2020 / 11:01

Vietnam health staff exposed to numerous risks while fighting Covid-19

Lives of health workers at the forefront of the Covid-19 battle are at serious risk.

The Covid-19 pandemic’s evolution is increasingly complicated, which exposes Vietnam's health workers to high risk of coronavirus infection, even threatens their lives.

The 116th person infected with coronavirus was a doctor of the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases while giving treatment to Covid patients. Before him, two nurses at the Center for Tropical Diseases under Hanoi-based Bach Mai Hospital had caught the virus, but the source of infection could not be verified.

 Health workers at Bach Mai Hospital wear anti-epidemic outfits. Photo: Viet Dung

The infected doctor had been involved in the anti-epidemic fight since January 31, working in safety screening and giving treatment to infected people and Covid-19 suspects, even to those in critical health condition. The possibility of catching the virus for him was extremely high.

Another doctor infected with Covid-19 also works in the Emergency Department under the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases.  This doctor caught the virus when he set up the ventilator for a Covid-19 patient. The doctor and ten other Covid-19 patients have been cured and discharged from hospital on April 7.

Lives of health workers at the forefront of the anti-pandemic battle are at serious risk. The more people catch the virus, the more dangerous the situation is for the health workers.

What to do to protect health workers?

Dr. Ngo Duc Hung, who works at the Emergency Department (A9) under Bach Mai Hospital, wrote in his Covid-19 dairy: “Emergency departments are always the most vulnerable, because every day health workers attend so many people and face invisible enemies. Everyone here is at risk of catching the coronavirus. If those places are protected, the people on the front line will be safe.”

 Ngo Duc Hung, a doctor in the Emergency Department under Bach Mai Hospital

“Every health worker has a family. When they decide to stay at their hospital, they put themselves in disadvantageous positions. I don't consider it a heroic act at all, but their high sense of responsibility,” Hung said.

Therefore, health workers need to be absolutely safe while fighting Covid-19 and surgical masks are of utmost importance in protecting the health workers in the time of the coronavirus pandemic.

Nguyen Vien Hung, head of the Infection Control Department under Bach Mai Hospital told Tuoi Tre Online that the hospital started stockpiling surgical masks and special protective suits since the end of 2019.

Currently, there remain about one million masks while 10,000 surgical masks are used every day in the hospital, Hung said, emphasizing that the number of medical masks in stock can meet the hospital’s demand until July 2020.

However, the hospital’s leaders have decided to buy more. Some benefactors have also supported so that each health worker could have two or three masks a day, Hung added.

In an interview with Tuoi Tre, Luong Ngoc Khue, director of the Administration Department under the Ministry of Health said that health workers must strictly comply with regulations on preventing cross-contamination in hospitals to prevent Covid-19 from spreading.

“I have also asked health workers to suspend all trips and conferences during the epidemic time and conduct online meetings instead to curb the spread of Covid-19,” Khue stressed.