|A range of strict epidemic prevention measures have been put in place in Hanoi-based Bach Mai General Hospital
Following a number of medical staff and patients at Bach Mai Hospital contracting the COVID-19, as many as 500 doctors, medical workers, patients, and their relatives have been placed into isolation, whilst approximately 5,000 people are set to be tested imminently.
Deputy Minister Son said that despite not yet imposing a blockade on Bach Mai Hospital, the capital will enforce a score of stronger prevention measures in an attempt to halt the wider community being infected by the COVID-19.
“An epidemiological investigation of all the issues related to the infectious patients at Bach Mai Hospital has been conducted so that we can track down and report any suspected cases to localities to be placed into early quarantine. In addition, the hospital's medical staff are required to implement measures such as isolation at work or in their residence,” Son says.
Following the discovery of two doctors at the Emergency Department of the Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases testing positive for the virus, the treatment facility has also been intensifying measures in a bid to control infection in the department’s wards.
With regards to transmission of the virus, Doctor Minh Tan, Deputy Head of Infection Control Department under the Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases, says, “We have to step up with greater efforts to prevent the disease being transmitted from patient to patient, from doctor to doctor, as well as among our medical staff,”
Most notably, over 81,000 people have entered the country over the past 20 days, with this high figure being seen as a number of new potential sources of infection. It is therefore possible for those who have recently arrived in the nation to spread the COVID-19 around numerous cities and provinces before a centralised isolation order is imposed. Indeed, Nguyen Duc Chung, Chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee, estimates that there are approximately 20 COVID-19 patients who have mingled among the community but have yet to be discovered.
“First, the source of cross-infection comes from the outbreaks in Bach Mai Hospital. Second, the source of infection comes from tourists and Vietnamese nationals who entered on March 14, March 18, and March 21. Based on the numbers tested, there are still roughly 10 to 20 people who may have been positive for the virus in the capital, but have yet to be discovered,” the municipal leader notes.
As a means of effectively dealing with the current situation, Luong Ngoc Khue, Director of the Administration of Medical Examination and Treatment, says that the Ministry of Health has stepped up its compliance with professional guidelines and infection control in order to limit the risk of cross-infection occurring in hospitals. It is therefore crucial that health facilities learn from experience when arranging quarantine areas for suspected and positive cases of the COVID-19.
“We have underlined the need to raise the responsibility of medical facilities for the strict implementation of regulations set out by the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control as well as the Ministry of Health. We will even consider withdrawing operation permits or forcing the closure of both public and private health facilities if they fail to comply with set regulations,” Khue stresses.