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HCM City holds Tet pandemic hike drill

HCM City holds Tet pandemic hike drill The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health has freshly held a COVID-19 pandemic scenario exercise to get the system prepared in case of a hike of infections to be caused by a new sub-variant of the Omicron strain in the upcoming Lunar New Year festival (Tet), the biggest and longest traditional event in Vietnam.

As per the January 17 drill, in the holiday period from January 20-26, the city’s centre for disease control (HCDC) and the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU) detected a new sub-variant of the Omicron strain. Meanwhile, the local hospital for tropical diseases and general hospitals saw their number of COVID-19 cases surging by 3-4 times, and over half of their beds were occupied. Most of the cases were symptomatic, with the number of severe ones requiring oxygen increasing.

In response, a meeting was held and procedures underway to resume the operation of the 100-bed Field Hospital No 13 to ensure the city’s capacity of receiving and treating severe patients and minimising the number of related deaths.

Tang Chi Thuong, director of the department, said apart from the drill, the sector has prepared necessary medicine and medical equipment, including 100 resuscitation beds, 100 ventilators, and two portable X-ray machines.

To take care of 100 seriously ill patients, 54 doctors and 108 nurses are needed, he noted, adding that the department has prepared a list to mobilise human resources from hospitals.

The city will also arrange 45 locations for COVID-19 prevention vaccination serving the locals during Tet./.