Everyone visiting medical facilities in Vietnam for treatment will be treated as suspected Covid-19 patients and tested.
The Ministry of Health said on Monday the decision is part of its attempt to ramp up pandemic prevention measures after there were coronavirus transmissions between the community and medical facilities.
The first cases related to a hospital were two nurses at Hanoi’s Bach Mai Hospital on March 20. As of Tuesday the number of patients linked to the hospital had increased to 46, including 27 employees of the Truong Sinh Company, which provides food and logistics services to the hospital.
The National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control instructed high-level hospitals on Monday to prioritize critically ill patients and emergency cases and those transferred from other hospitals for treatment, admitting as few non-serious patients as possible, leaving them to lower-level hospitals for treatment.
High-level hospitals should resort to online or phone consultations to reduce the number of visitors, reduce or delay surgeries where possible and schedule staffing to take in Covid-19 patients in case there is a surge, the committee said.
The ministry said there is sufficient equipment and medication for tens of thousands of patients in case the epidemic escalates. Masks and disease prevention equipment could be made in the country, it assured.
It and the Ministry of Science and Technology are also working together to produce invasive and non-invasive ventilators to replace imports.
Local authorities have been advised to establish mobile teams to track down people with cough, fever or breathing difficulties, especially those who have returned from coronavirus-hit areas or visited medical facilities, staying in hotels and homeless people, and refer them immediately to medical facilities for prompt treatment.
Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, head of the National Steering Committee on Covid-19 Fight and Prevention, warned at a meeting on Monday: “We must not be negligent and lose focus. If everyone fights the disease together, we will definitely win.”
As of Tuesday 95 out of the 245 Covid-19 patients in Vietnam have recovered.