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COVID-19 deaths increase among elderly, unvaccinated residents in Ho Chi Minh City



The number of coronavirus-related deaths has been rising in Ho Chi Minh City, with most victims being elderly citizens or those who refused to get vaccinated.

The southern city recorded between 50 and 62 COVID-19 deaths each day from Saturday to Tuesday, according to Ministry of Health statistics.

Prior to this increase, the city only logged less than 30 fatalities a day for nearly a month.

The COVID-19 mortality rate in Ho Chi Minh City is currently at 3.8 percent, the highest in Vietnam. The overall mortality rate of the country stood at 2.2 percent only.

At a press meeting on Monday, Nguyen Thi Huynh Mai, an official from the municipal Department of Health, stated that the city registered a total of 151 coronavirus-related fatalities from November 19 to 21, of whom 75 percent were either unvaccinated or had received only one shot.

The increase in COVID-19 patients in the city has led to rising deaths, Mai continued.

Despite a high vaccination rate, about 15-20 percent of the new patients suffer severe symptoms, while five percent are in critical conditions, she elaborated.

Another health official told Tien Phong (Youth) newspaper that most COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths occur among elderly residents and those who refused to get jabbed.

More than 50 percent of the deceased patients recorded over the past days were unvaccinated, he added.

In many elderly patients, underlying conditions and old age are the main causes of their deaths, while COVID-19 only acted as an agent.

Another reason for rising COVID-19 deaths in Ho Chi Minh City is that many patients were sent from other provinces, the official continued.

About five to six seriously-ill coronavirus patients are transferred from other localities to major hospitals in the city on a daily basis, he added.

Amid surging cases, authorities are planning to mobilize an additional 390 doctors and nurses from 16 local hospitals to assist medical staff at COVID-19 treatment facilities.

Ho Chi Minh City has been the hardest-hit locality in Vietnam since the fourth wave began on April 27, with nearly 460,000 infections.

Municipal authorities had implemented various levels of social distancing measures since May 31 before loosening restrictions in October, as the majority of adults had been inoculated against the coronavirus.

As of Tuesday, health workers had administered over 14 million vaccine doses, with more than 6.1 million out of nine million citizens fully jabbed.

Cases are on the rise as the city has been logging about 1,000 to 1,600 new infections daily over the past days.

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Public hospitals in HCM City set aside beds for COVID-19 patients



Doctors at Bình Thạnh No.1 Field Hospital in HCM City treat COVID-19 patients. VNA/ Photo

HCM CITY — The HCM City Department of Health on Thursday asked all public hospitals in the city to set aside at least 10 per cent of hospital beds for treatment of COVID-19 patients amid a surge in hospitalisations and deaths and the emergence of the Omicron variant.

Hospitals in the city have been asked to prepare medicine and medical devices for the clinical management of COVID-19.

Designated isolation areas at hospitals are being shifted to COVID-19 treatment units, the department said in a document sent to leaders of hospitals.

Hospitals have also been asked to restructure their operation to make it fit with requirements for COVID-19 treatment, and maintain health check-ups and treatment for other diseases.

Tier-one general hospitals and specialised hospitals in pediatrics and infectious diseases have been asked to set up COVID-19 intensive care units to treat severe cases. A COVID-19 department should be established at these hospitals, it said.

The department has designated nine major hospitals in the city to receive severe cases from lower-tier hospitals, including Chợ Rẫy, Thống Nhất, HCM City Medical University, Huế Central Hospital in HCM City, Gia Định People, People 115, Hospital for Tropical Diseases, 175 Military Hospital, and Phước Lộc field hospital.

Four hospitals – Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Trưng Vương, An Bình and Củ Chi District hospitals – which fully shifted to COVID-19 treatment have maintained operation since the city lifted the lockdown on October 1.

Six hospitals which partly shifted to COVID-19 treatment, including Municipal Children Hospital, Eastern People Military Hospital, and Phạm Ngọc Thạch, Từ Dũ, Hùng Vương and Nguyễn Tri Phương hospitals, have also maintained operation.

These 10 hospitals are operating with 4,300 beds set aside for COVID-19 patients.

Thirteen city-level field hospitals with 22,000 beds, 16 district-level field hospitals with 8,000 beds, and 65 health facilities with 9,000 beds in the city are offering COVID-19 treatment.

The Department of Health has asked hospital leaders to allocate medical workers to provide health care and treatment for COVID-19 patients.

A total of 86,000 people with COVID-19 are under quarantine and treatment in the city, including more than 66,000 people receiving home-based care.

More than 14,000 patients with moderate and severe symptoms are being treated at hospitals in the city. —


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Woman arrested after being wanted for 16 years in Vietnam



Police in Vietnam have arrested a woman who had been at large for nearly 16 years after being convicted of a drug-related crime.

The Department of Public Security in southern Kien Giang Province confirmed on Sunday it had apprehended Le Thi Kim Tu, 41.

Police investigation showed that Tu and her husband were caught red-handed selling drugs in Ho Chi Minh City in December 2001.

The couple lived with their child in Hoc Mon District at the time.

In mid-2002, Tu was sentenced to seven years in prison while her husband got six years for illegally trading narcotics.

The woman was allowed to postpone her jail term as she needed to take care of her child, who was under 36 months old.

She was thus taken to Kien Giang Province so that authorities could supervise her during this period.

When Tu was ready to serve her prison sentence in 2005, officers found that she had run away from her place of residence.

The woman had been wanted by Kien Giang police since then.

Over the past 16 years, Tu had been living in the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang after changing her name.

She had a romantic relationship with a local man and eventually lived with him and his family.

Following a recent argument, Tu attempted to attack her boyfriend’s mother with a knife.

Local police intervened in the incident and summoned Tu to their station for a working session.

Officers in Tien Giang eventually discovered Tu’s true identity and reported the case to their counterparts in Kien Giang Province.

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HCMC: eateries continuously allowed to operate until 10pm



The People’s Committee of HCMC has approved a decision to extend a pilot program allowing food and drink facilities to operate until 10 p.m.

HCMC: eateries continuously allowed to operate until 10pm

The decision that has not required eateries to close before 10 p.m. will take effect from now until December 31.

Accordingly, businesses are allowed to operate in districts with the Covid-19 alert levels 1 and 2, resume on-site dining at 50 percent of their normal customer capacity in areas at the Covid-19 alert level 3 and move to mobile ordering and takeaway in the areas under the level 4.

The municipal government has also delegated chairpersons of the People’s Committees of Thu Duc City and districts to strengthen the inspection of food and beverage businesses serving alcoholic drinks and impose strict fines on violators

The city has seen the reopening of 9,796 food and drink services in Thu Duc City and districts, and 3,732 others selling alcoholic drinks from November 16-30, according to the Department of Industry and Trade.

The experimental program allowing dining venues to operate until 10 pm daily has made outstanding contribution in stimulating consumption demand, production activities and trading; increasing State budget; creating jobs; and relieving the pressure on people, said the department.

However, many businesses have not ensured a safe distance of two meters between tables and registered for QR code yet. They have not got organizational business planning and publicized their maximum approved seating capacity. Some localities have not strictly carried out the inspection of food and beverage establishments’ activities.

On November 16, the HCMC People’s Committee previously launched a decision No.3818 on allowing food and drink facilities to resume on-site dining until 10 pm daily. The decision took effect until November 30.

Source: SGGP


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