Ho Chi Minh City’s Covid-19 cases are expected to increase, severe illnesses and deaths will decrease

The number of severe cases and deaths continues to decrease sharply, but the number of new cases in Ho Chi Minh City is tending to increase slightly after the Tet holiday and is forecasted to continue to increase by the Department of Health.

During Tet, Ho Chi Minh City recorded a sharp decrease in the number of Covid-19 cases, from a few hundred to a few dozen cases per day. However, from the 5th of the Lunar New Year until now, the number of infections increased slightly again, on the 11th to 260 cases. At its peak from July to September 2021, the city recorded about 6,000-7,000 cases per day, some days more than 8,000 new cases.

Over the past month, the number of deaths in the city has gradually decreased, at less than 20 people a day. Recently, the city only recorded 2-3 deaths, one day all 3 deaths were patients transferred from elsewhere. The number of severe cases is also decreasing sharply. Hospitals are treating more than 600 patients, of which 88 critically ill patients are on ventilators, and 13 have ECMO interventions. At its peak more than 5 months ago, the number of F0 treated in the hospital reached more than 40,000, of which about 2,800 cases of mechanical ventilation, ECMO.

Doctor Nguyen Thi Huynh Mai (Chief of the Office of Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health) at the press conference of the city’s anti-epidemic steering committee, on the afternoon of January 10, said that after a long time of the Covid-19 epidemic, the people of the city had enjoy the Lunar New Year holidays almost completely. “The number of new infections has decreased to triple digits per day but is expected to increase in the next few days. However, through monitoring of severe cases, the number of ventilators and deaths will decrease due to daily treatment. enhanced,” said Mai.

Specifically, after two years of fighting the epidemic, especially the recent big epidemic, doctors and nurses have more and more experience in treatment. The city continues to deploy forces to manage and care for F0 at home, distribute medicine bags, and use antiretroviral drugs early to limit the risk of worsening. Severe F0 is treated, transferred to the hospital promptly. In hospitals, oxygen and medical equipment and drugs ensure a response to treatment.

According to Doctor Nguyen Van Vinh Chau, deputy director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health, besides treatment tactics, the fundamental thing is that thanks to the increasing coverage of vaccines, most patients are mild. In addition, over the past time, the city has also implemented a strategy to protect at-risk groups, the elderly, and people with underlying medical conditions, thereby reducing the rate of severe illness and death.

“Focusing on early treatment and getting enough antiretroviral drugs molnupiravir for at-risk groups also contributes to quick recovery and reduced severity,” said Dr. Chau. If patients in the current risk group have not taken molnupiravir in time, they will be hospitalized with the antiviral drug remdesivir, which will help prevent severe progression.

According to the Department of Health of Ho Chi Minh City, the increase in the number of cases after the Lunar New Year holiday is a common phenomenon in countries with this holiday, because the increase in the level of people’s exchange and travel increases the risk of infection. Disease. For example, South Korea recently recorded more than 49,000 new cases in a day, an increase of nearly 13,000 cases compared to the previous day. Other Asian countries are also seeing a spike in the days after Tet such as Singapore, which has more than doubled, Hong Kong has more than 5 times and in Indonesia it has increased more than 11 times. In Vietnam, in the past few days, the number of Covid-19 cases has continuously increased, on February 10 and 11 alone, the number of new cases per day in the country has increased to more than 26,000 cases.

An increase in Covid-19 cases after the Tet holiday was also predicted by experts. According to Assoc. Dr. Do Van Dung (Dean of the Faculty of Public Health, University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Ho Chi Minh City), the number of cases in Ho Chi Minh City after Tet will increase in a short time. However, with the current rate of vaccine coverage and if people continue to do 5K well, the number of cases will then decrease gradually. On the contrary, if the 5K is not adhered to, when the disease is not isolated, but still travel and participate in outside activities, it can spread and cause an outbreak.

To cope with the increasing number of cases, Ho Chi Minh City has increased epidemic control activities before, during and after Tet. The health sector urges people returning from provinces and cities to return and reside after Tet to comply with 5K, self-monitor their health, and notify health care providers if they suspect they have Covid-19. People with symptoms of fever, cough, difficulty breathing… should limit contact and travel, contact local health care for instructions, Covid-19 testing and treatment.

People who have not been vaccinated or have not been vaccinated against Covid-19 will be strengthened by localities to review and make lists to mobilize to medical facilities for vaccination. The city closely monitors and detects outbreaks and clusters of cases with unusual developments and characteristics, pays attention to cases of respiratory diseases to promptly control the epidemic, and at the same time strengthens surveillance. inspect the management of quarantined entry.

A doctor treats and takes care of people with severe Covid-19 disease at the Covid-19 Resuscitation Center located at Ho Chi Minh City Oncology Hospital, Campus 2, September 2021. Photo: Quynh Tran

In the context of the decreasing number of severe cases and deaths, the city plans to shut down the 1,000-bed Covid-19 Resuscitation Center (ICU) in Thu Duc because it has run out of patients and return the facility to the hospital. Oncology Hospital 2. This is the largest ICU center for Covid-19 patients in Ho Chi Minh City as well as the whole country, established in July 2021, so far treating more than 5,000 critically ill patients.

Most hospitals last year that had converted or “split into two” to treat Covid-19 were restored to their original functions and established more Covid-19 treatment departments and units. Many city-level field hospitals have been shut down.

Currently, the city continues to maintain field hospitals, Covid-19 treatment facilities in the district and Linh Trung export processing zone and high-tech park in Ho Chi Minh City; field hospitals 13, 14, 16. The city also has 1,000 ICU beds ready for Covid-19 patients, including 600 beds in two resuscitation centers located at two field hospitals No. 14 and 16; 200 beds at Ho Chi Minh City Hospital for Tropical Diseases and 200 beds at Cho Ray.

The city’s health sector continues to implement epidemic prevention measures according to scenarios in the battle against Omicron, monitoring areas with an increase in new cases, tracing and isolating sources of infection. To date, the city has detected 125 new cases of Omicron variant, of which 115 are imported, 10 are in the community, all have no symptoms or mild symptoms, no severe cases and no deaths.

In the face of an increasing epidemic situation, the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health recommends that people adhere to the principles of Covid-19 prevention and control, including raising vigilance, complying with 5K, administering additional doses of vaccines and higher doses of the vaccine. Repeat when it’s your turn. Go to the doctor as soon as there are signs of suspicion of Covid-19, notify the local health station immediately after doing a positive rapid test for advice, health monitoring and supply of F0 care medicine bags at the hospital. At home, observe medical isolation to avoid spreading the disease in the community.

The Ministry of Health recently asked localities to continue to raise the highest level of vigilance against the Covid-19 epidemic. Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Truong Son said that the epidemic is basically under control across the country with the number of severe cases and deaths tending to decrease. However, the number of infections is increasing after Tet, the risk of disease spread in the community when Omicron mutations appear and the opening of social activities, recovery and economic development.

Le Phuong


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