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Mekong Delta provinces rushing to build field hospitals as Covid cases soar

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Many provinces in the Mekong Delta are racing against time to set up field hospitals to cope with the rise in Covid-19 cases.

Long An Province has detected 824 domestic infections since the latest outbreak began on April 27. The province already has nine field hospitals for Covid-19 treatment, with a total of 1,500 beds, but it is preparing to convert a high school dormitory in Tan An City into a field hospital with 700 beds.

Long An has recently decided to convert the Hau Nghia General Hospital in Duc Hoa District into a 200-bed Covid-19 hospital in charge of treating patients in critical condition.

Dong Thap, the Mekong Delta’s worst-hit province with 1,379 locally-infected cases since June 24, has completed setting up two field hospitals in Cao Lanh City with over 400 beds, while the Dong Thap Military Hospital now functions as a Covid-19 treatment hospital with 300 beds, reported Tuoi Tre newspaper.

As for Can Tho City, the local health authorities are reportedly having a hard time tracing contacts of the confirmed cases as many infections were detected in crowded places such as wholesale markets, residential areas, companies and supermarkets.

With 170 cases reported, the 100-bed Covid-19 treatment zone at the Can Tho Tuberculosis and Lung Disease Hospital is now fully occupied, while another field hospital with 100 beds in Binh Thuy District has received 70 coronavirus patients just after two days of being put into operation.

Can Tho plans to use the local hospitals in Cai Rang and Thoi Lai districts along with a military hospital to receive and treat Covid-19 patients, if the coronavirus situation worsens.

Besides, efforts to estimate the materials and biological products needed for testing cannot keep up with the spread of the disease. The city has 18,000 PCR test kits and 65,000 quick test kits left and has continued to propose an additional supply of protective gear, N95 face masks and face shields for medical workers, said Pham Phu Truong Giang, deputy director of the Health Department in Can Tho.

In Vinh Long Province, the provincial Department of Health said that it is coordinating with local authorities to survey and request the provincial government to establish more quarantine centers and convert local medical centers into Covid-19 treatment units.

The department also planned to send Covid-19 testing systems to other qualified medical facilities and call for the participation of private medical units, aimed at improving the province’s testing capacity, with 3,000 samples expected to be processed per day.

By yesterday afternoon, July 19, Vinh Long reported 40 new cases, especially, after 25,269 workers in the industrial parks of Hoa Phu and Binh Minh underwent screening Covid-19 tests, 13 tested positive for the virus through PCR tests and 19 others tested positive through quick tests.

Bac Lieu Province reported 14 cases as of this morning. Yesterday, Thanh Vu Medic Hospital in Bac Lieu put into operation a field zone, which is located at the Judo stadium in Bac Lieu City, to conduct Covid-19 quick tests and RT-PCR tests for local residents.

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