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Hanoi needs to change its way of managing Covid patient treatment

As the number of Covid-19 cases is increasing day by day in Hanoi, the municipal authorities need to create another scenario.


Numbers of community-transmitted Covid-19 cases in Hanoi


The website of Hanoi People’s Committee and Hanoi CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) lists the number of infections and the number of people at risk of infection.

The management and response should be given only to the people who need medical support and hospitalization, not people discovered as infected with coronavirus.

With the high vaccination coverage, the number of F0s who don’t need medical support at hospitals is high. The municipal authorities should focus on supporting those who need medical support, treating severe cases and minimizing the mortality rate, rather than wasting resources for those who don’t need medical support.

To prepare for this policy, it’s necessary to run media campaigns to explain it to the public. The regulation that all infected children aged below 3 and people aged above 49 must be treated at medical establishments not only causes overloading for the healthcare system, but also harms infected people.

The current healthcare system is not capable of serving a high number of healthy infected people. The gathering of these people may pose high risks, because many people may be harmed by other diseases.

Document 276 dated December 2 by the Hanoi People’s Committee on individuals who can have medical quarantine at home is contrary to MInistry of Health’s (MOH) documents as it requires all people aged over 49 and children aged below 3 to have concentrated quarantine.

MOH, in its Decision 4038/BYT, doesn’t require all infected people aged above 49 and below three to have concentrated quarantine. It only mentions clinical conditions and satisfying at least one of two criteria – full vaccination at least 14 days ago, over 1 year to below 50 years old, with no pregnancy, and no underlying health conditions.

In order to get permission to have home quarantine, infected people have to apply and their home conditions need to be examined to ensure that conditions are good enough.

The regulation not only creates delays due to both bureaucracy and overloading at medical facilities, but also poses problems to medical workers as they have a big workload amid a rapid increase in the number of infections.

Guidance is needed to make people understand anti-pandemic regulations and observe the rules to treat patients. However, what is seen on the website of Hanoi People’s Committee and CDC Hanoi doesn’t show readiness.

On the website of Hanoi People’s Committee, when clicking on “Nhung dieu nguoi dan can biet” (Things To Know), it is difficult to find useful information for infections.

Voluntary quarantine sites in wards

It is necessary to change the way of isolating both infected people and people at risk of getting infected. The government from the ward level should be allowed to organize voluntary quarantine points in localities, which gather the infected who don’t need medical support and those who can’t satisfy requirements to have home quarantine.

Hanoi has advantages in facilities with a large network of hotels, guesthouses and schools to serve that goal. And putting these facilities into service for epidemic prevention is effective if monitored by local authorities.

The private healthcare network in Hanoi has higher capability than other localities and the network needs to be mobilized. Municipal authorities should update the number of beds needed each day, the number of unoccupied beds, the number of patients under treatment at hospitals, and number of severe cases, rather than just announce the number of positive cases.

Another problem is the lack of services for patients in their daily activities. Currently, patients at hospitals mostly receive care from their relatives and home help. The problem may not be settled immediately.

There are many ways to improve the situation, such as mobilizing volunteers who have been fully vaccinated. Also, the city should also allow fully vaccinated relatives of patients to stay in hospitals to take care of patients.

Hanoi needs to learn a lesson from what happened in HCM City and southern provinces and get ready for a new possible Covid wave.

Hanoi’s authorities affirmed in mid-December that no large-scale lockdown was on the table despite the spike in Covid-19 cases in recent days. 

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