Ho Chi Minh City to dissolve largest COVID-19 resuscitation center amid pandemic slowdown

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Ho Chi Minh City to dissolve largest COVID-19 resuscitation center amid pandemic slowdown

This image shows the second campus of the Ho Chi Minh City Oncology Hospital, where the COVID-19 Resuscitation Center is located, in Thu Duc City under Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Tu Trung / Tuoi Tre

Health authorities in Ho Chi Minh City have decided to disband a 1,000-bed COVID-19 Resuscitation Center, the largest in the city, as patient numbers at the facility have plummeted to almost zero.

The center, located on the second campus of the Ho Chi Minh City Oncology Hospital, has fulfilled its mission, Nguyen Thi Huynh Mai, chief of office of the municipal Department of Health, said at a press briefing on Thursday.

The dissolution was announced amidst the pandemic’s remarkable decline in the city, with critical patient numbers as well as fatalities having fallen sharply in recent days.

However, the exact date of the dissolution has yet to be determined, Mai said.

This hospital’s second campus, where almost zero coronavirus patients are now treated, will resume its normal operations as soon as the resuscitation center is dissolved, thus allowing it to meet the increasing need for cancer examination and treatment, Mai said.

In its recent proposal to the department, Cho Ray Hospital, which manages the center, suggested future COVID-19 patients be sent to Field Hospitals No. 14 and 16 for treatment.

The department has also decided to dissolve several other field hospitals that house zero COVID-19 patients.

Meanwhile, all hospitals that have been converted or split to make space for COVID-19 treatment, such as Pham Ngoc Thach, Trung Vuong, and An Binh, will have their pre-pandemic operations restored and, at the same time, will establish their own COVID-19 departments, Mai said.

Despite the shutdown of its largest COVID-19 resuscitation center, the city will still have 1,000 COVID-19-dedicated beds, including 200 at Cho Ray Hospital, the same figure at the Ho Chi Minh City Hospital for Tropical Diseases, and the remainder at Field Hospitals No. 14 and 16.

“The department is ready to re-activate all COVID-19 treatment facilities in the city within 24 hours if necessary,” Mai asserted.

The city of nine million people has recently seen its daily COVID-19 cases and fatalities fall sharply, to 241 and four on Thursday, respectively, from 437 and 19 a month ago, according to data released by the Ministry of Health.

However, the country’s economic hub has still taken the brunt of the pandemic since it first erupted in the Southeast Asian nation in early 2020, with 516,742 and 19,915 deaths.

As of Thursday, health workers had administered 8,169,130 first COVID-19 vaccine doses and 7,515,520 second jabs to the city’s adult population, according to the national COVID-19 vaccination information portal.

Additionally, more than 4.5 million third shots, including additional primary doses and boosters, have been given to the same population, local health authorities said.

The city recently launched its spring vaccination campaign, slated for January 29 to the end of February, aimed at giving a second shot to people from 12 to 17 years old and widening the third-jab coverage for people aged 18 and older.

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