Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long requested the field hospitals be erected in the Mekong Delta city on Monday, adding localities bordering Cambodia like An Giang and Dong Thap should soon follow suit. Kien Giang, another border province, has already set up its field hospitals with help of medical experts from HCMC.
Warnings over a possible fourth Covid-19 wave have been sounded, Long said.
Vietnamese officials have been warning about possible outbreak given the situation in Cambodia, which until recently had one of the world’s lowest numbers of infections. The country has reported 79 deaths, all in the past two months. It had just around 400 infections until last year, but the number has gone past 10,000.
Luong Ngoc Khue, head of the Department of Medical Service Administration under the health ministry, said the delta has a high chance of encountering Covid-19 outbreaks. Field hospitals in Can Tho would assist the health ministry and Ho Chi Minh City’s Cho Ray Hospital in treating Covid-19 patients, he noted.
Can Tho currently has 44 hospitals, 20 of them public, according to the municipal Department of Health.
“The city has been prepared for emergencies. Should hospital capacity be reached, Can Tho would be able to receive around 1,200 Covid-19 cases,” said Nguyen Phuoc Ton, deputy director of the city’s health department.
The field hospitals are necessary as the Covid-19 situation intensifies in several countries and people want to travel more, both domestically and from outside the country, Ton said.
Can Tho City is considered a vital traffic intersection in the Mekong Delta. The upcoming Reunification Day and Labor Day holidays this weekend mean more people would be out on the streets, posing a heightened risk of infection, officials said.
“The health ministry is concerned about the complex Covid-19 situation in surrounding countries. The southwestern border has a large number of immigrants, both legal and illegal, which means the chance for the virus to invade and fester is high,” said health minister Long.
Since Jan. 28, Can Tho has performed Covid-19 testing on over 1,500 people returning from areas with coronavirus outbreaks. The city has successfully treated 10 Covid-19 patients, all imported cases. It currently has three medical facilities capable of conducting Covid-19 tests.
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