NDO – Vietnam has gained initial successes in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. Regarding its treatment work, Vietnam has had many good initiatives and solutions and has advanced its experience in the area, contributing to maintaining a high survival rate, low mortality, and low cross-infection amongst health workers.
According to the Department of Medical Examination and Treatment under the Ministry of Health and the Sub-Committee on Treatment at the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, Vietnam has undergone three phases in its detection of COVID-19 infection.
The first phase from January 22 to February 25 saw a total of 16 cases with a 100% recovery rate, no serious cases, and no cross-infection in the hospital.
The second phase from March 7 to April 16 saw 399 cases with no fatalities and two medical staff cross-infected.
The third phase from July 25 to September 3 started at Da Nang C Hospital. Vietnam has not recorded any new infections in the community for more than 70 days.
Thanks to the active and proactive participation of the whole medical examination and treatment system, the treatment of COVID-19 has been a success. The recovery rate has reached 96.4% while the rate of serious cases cured is high. The mortality rate is low with 35 deaths, many of whom also had many serious underlying diseases and the rate of cross-infection in medical examination and treatment establishments has also been low.
According to Associate Professor, Dr. Luong Ngoc Khue, head of the Department of Medical Examination and Treatment, the remarkable results in the treatment of COVID-19 patients are thanks to the drastic directions of the Government with the spirit of “fighting the pandemic like fighting an enemy” and the acceptance of economic losses to protect people’s lives and health.
It is also attributable to the participation of relevant ministries and sectors, the efforts of medical workers, the cooperation of patients, and the consensus of the people regarding quarantine and treatment.
There are four important issues that have contributed to the success of COVID-19 treatment – the reasonable division of treatment lines, the regular update of diagnostic and treatment guidelines as recommended by the World Health Organisation and treatment experiences of other countries, the establishment of the COVID-19 diagnostic and treatment support center to gather a team of skilled specialists in the diagnosis of serious patients, and the expansion of COVID testing.
Vietnam has built four levels of treatment according to the level of disease from commune to district, provincial, and central level (for seriously ill patients).
To date, COVID-19 diagnostic and treatment guidelines have been updated four times with the consideration of applying treatment methods such as using antiviral drugs, antimalarial drugs, plasma, and others.
The country has also established hundreds of mobile teams with fast response, elite skills, and expertise, always ready to support hospitals and localities.
To date, more than 50 hospitals are capable of testing for SARS-CoV-2, making them proactive in testing, reducing waiting times for patients, and reducing any overload on the preventive health system.
Many delegations of medical experts and leading doctors from central hospitals such as the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases, Hanoi Medical University, Bach Mai Hospital, Cho Ray Hospital, and Hue Central Hospital volunteered to travel to Da Nang, the country’s coronavirus hotspot to help with treatment, care, and rehabilitation for COVID-19 patients.
Vietnam has achieved important successes in the prevention, control, and treatment of COVID-19, highly lauded by the international community. The whole country is entering a new normal state, with the dual goals of both preventing the pandemic and promoting socio-economic development.
However, COVID-19 pandemic is still complicated in the world with an increasing number of people affected in many countries. The risk of COVID-19 returning to Vietnam is high as more international flights are being arranged to bring Vietnamese citizens home and there are preparations underway to reopen international commercial flights.
Thus, to continue to maintain the results in the prevention and control of COVID-19, medical examination and treatment facilities need to raise their vigilance and strictly comply with all relevant regulations from the Ministry of Health.
Priority should be given to improving the capacity of health workers in infection control, early detection of infected cases, and tracing in hospitals in addition to enhancing capacity to use medical equipment, ventilators, and the treatment of serious cases in intensive care units at provincial and regional hospitals.