HÀ NỘI — As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Hà Nội, asymptomatic patients are being allowed to recover at home. To support them in monitoring their health, groups of doctors are providing remote assistance via online apps and hotlines.
Ten days ago, Dr Hoàng Thanh Tuấn, deputy head of the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Department at the National Institute of Burns, teamed up with other physicians to organise a group of military doctors to support home-treated COVID-19 patients.
With less than 10 doctors at first, the group has now grown to more than 30, all volunteering to support F0 patients.
They all participated in the fight against COVID in the southern region during the fourth wave.
“Every day, each doctor supports 20-30 families with F1 or F0 cases in Hà Nội, Nha Trang City (Khánh Hòa Province), HCM City and Bình Dương province. They are given detailed consultations on medication use, rapid test results, blood oxygen levels and symptoms such as cough, fever and shortness of breath,” Tuấn told Sức khỏe & Đời sống (Health & Life) newspaper.
“Over the past 10 days, we have supported about 3,000-4,000 mild and asymptomatic F0 cases via our app and over the phone.
“For cases with signs of serious development, we recommend patients call health facilities to receive the appropriate treatment,” Tuấn said.
Together with Tuấn’s group, Dr Vũ Quốc Bình, the former director of the Military Medical Department, called 50 experts and health workers to set up a group to offer online consultations to COVID-19 patients, free of charge.
Their programme is conducted via the ‘365 Doctor’ app and on the phone number 19001544.
Every day, they are assigned a list of patients to take care of. They monitor data on blood oxygen levels, blood pressure, temperature and basic symptoms related to COVID-19, that patients update on an app twice a day, Bình said.
The nursing team also call patients periodically to keep their information up-to-date. Doctors can also communicate with patients through the app’s chat box or video call, to advise and guide treatment. Patients can also call doctors in urgent cases.
Bình said that COVID-19 patients isolated at home in Hà Nội also can borrow measuring devices to monitor their health. They only need to deposit an amount of money to borrow the devices which they get back when they return them.
With the increasing community cases, the Hà Nội Youth Union has coordinated with the Hà Nội Young Business Association to launch an “ATM – oxygen” model in the capital city.
It is expected to support patients in 30 districts and 579 communes, wards and townships.
As of December 25, the “ATM – oxygen” system had 1,200 oxygen cylinders to support COVID-19 patients.
According to the standing deputy secretary of the Hà Nội Youth Union, Nguyễn Đức Tiến, the “ATM – oxygen” model is necessary to support hospitals and medical facilities as the situation remains complicated in Hà Nội.
In order to effectively operate the system, the Youth Union established groups to receive information and coordinate with local authorities to verify cases in need.
“We have set up satellite oxygen stations in the city and districts and hope to have the support of the community, especially the oxygen production units that are providing a free source of oxygen for the programme,” said Tiến.
The city’s Việt Nam Youth Union is also cooperating with the Hà Nội Young Physicians Association to set up a group named “Companion Physicians”, with over 400 doctors and volunteers from universities, colleges, medical institutes, to support COVID-19 patients treated at home.
More than 3,000 COVID-19 patients have been given consultation via the phone number 1022 so far.
According to Hà Nội Health Department, thousands of volunteers have supported health workers in guiding, monitoring and treating F0 at home. They have also been on duty at quarantine sites, taking samples for testing and administering vaccinations, as well as other works related to COVID-19 prevention and control. — VNS