Localities asked to adopt three-tiered COVID-19 treatment model

Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long suggested localities adopt three-tiered COVID-19 treatment model to minimise fatality rate during a video teleconference (VTC) on August 13 morning.

The VTC provided training on monitoring, treatment and care of infected people for medical workers from more than 700 district-based healthcare clinics nationwide.

As of the end of August 12, Vietnam documented more than 242,600 COVID-19 cases. Nearly 500 patients with severe COVID-19 are being treated in Intensive Care Units (ICUs). Twenty-one are in critical conditions and receiving ECMO support. The death toll has reached nearly 4,800.

Addressing the event, Long said reducing fatalities remains one of the priorities in virus control efforts in all cities and provinces, so the healthcare system must be re-organised in a way that provides patients with the fastest and most convenient access and delivers the best possible services.

Long suggested cities and provinces to adopt the three-tiered treatment model, with the first being temporary COVID-19 hospitals and grassroots medical facilities, including home-based and community-based ones, which are designed to care for asymptomatic patients.

The second tier should be district-level medical clinics or higher which will be tasked to treat those with moderate COVID-19 symptoms. This tier plays a very important role because if it performs well, it can prevent the patients’ conditions from worsening and save their life, the minister said.

The last tier will be ICUs that admit those in critical conditions, he noted.

In the face of ongoing COVID-19 case spike, the Ministry of Health required all localities to prepare themselves with ICU medical supplies and equipment, he said, urging that the localities must, without delay, boost capacity of all the tiers to the maximum in order to not be caught off guard by the virus.

Minister Long further noted that his ministry will pilot a scheme for clinical monitoring and treatment of COVID-19 patients at home in Ho Chi Minh City and some other cities and provinces, and test Molnupiravir, a drug proving effective in reducing virus concentrations, in treating COVID-19 patients in the coming time.

He called on businesses to boost imports of the drug and pharmaceutical firms to negotiate with Molnupiravir producers about production technology transfer.

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