By Thanh An – Translated by Kim Khanh
Royal cancer hospital
More than 20 employees at a COVID-19 treatment hospital in Ho Chi Minh City have tested positive for the novel coronavirus despite having received two shots of COVID-19 vaccine.
As of Saturday night, 22 staff members at the Ho Chi Minh City Hospital for Tropical Diseases in District 5 had been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the municipal Center for Disease Control (HCDC).
The local health department had decided to turn this hospital into a specialized COVID-19 treatment facility earlier this week.
Among the 22 patients, seven work in the IT department while the other 15 are members of the administrative office.
The first case of the cluster, an employee of the IT department, was detected on Friday.
After stating in his health declaration that he had a mild fever, body aches, and coughing, the employee was directed to a testing area. His result later came back positive for COVID-19.
The hospital collected samples from 596 employees and inpatients on Saturday and detected the other 21 cases.
The entire hospital was locked down from Saturday afternoon for disinfection and contact tracing.
Forty-six COVID-19 patients are being treated at the hospital, of whom ten are seriously ill.
The coronavirus treatment area is completely separated from the rest of the hospital.
There are spaces for these health workers to stay after work as they are not allowed to come into contact with people outside of the treatment area.
A total of 80 health workers in charge of treating COVID-19 patients at the infirmary have tested negative for the novel coronavirus.
Following the lockdown of the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, a hospital for COVID-19 treatment in Cu Chi District and the COVID-19 treatment unit of Pham Ngoc Thach Hospital in District 5 were put into operation.
|Health workers are pictured inside the Ho Chi Minh City Hospital for Tropical Diseases, June 12, 2021. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre|
According to the HCDC, the source of infection of this cluster may come from outside of the hospital.
One of the cases in the administrative office is a resident of Block A1 at Ehome 3 Apartment Complex in Binh Tan District.
Blocks A6, A3, and A4 of this apartment complex were previously locked down following the detection of several COVID-19 patients.
On June 5, health workers collected random samples from residents of Block A1 for testing but the hospital employee was not among the tested.
The Ho Chi Minh City Hospital for Tropical Diseases was the first unit in southern Vietnam to begin COVID-19 inoculation based on the decision of the Ministry of Health.
It has about 900 employees, all of whom have received two shots of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine.
They got their first shots in March and second in April.
The vaccine potency reaches 76 percent within 90 days after the first dose and will be maintained until the second does, a representative from AstraZeneca said, citing clinical trials.
If the interval between two doses is 12 weeks or more, the potency increases to 81 percent.
Dr. Le Quoc Hung, head of the tropical diseases department at Cho Ray Hospital, said that vaccinated people can still contract COVID-19.
The biggest benefit of vaccination is to help patients avoid severe progression of COVID-19 and limit the possibility of spreading the disease to others, Dr. Hung added.
Vietnam has documented 10,337 infections as of Sunday morning, with 3,827 recoveries and 58 deaths.
The country has recorded 7,135 local infections in 39 provinces and cities, including 719 cases in Ho Chi Minh City.
Denmark’s Christian Eriksen received life-saving cardiac massage treatment on the pitch after collapsing on Saturday in his side’s Euro 2020 opening match with Finland but was able to speak before being taken to hospital, team doctor Morten Boesen said.
Eriksen was surrounded by his teammates while being treated on the pitch and then stretchered away. The game was eventually restarted an hour and 45 minutes later after news came through that he had regained consciousness.
“We were called onto the field when Christian collapsed. He was lying on his side when we approached him and there was respiration and pulse,” Boesen told a news conference after the game, which Finland won 1-0 with their only goal attempt of the match.
“But that picture changed and he then received life-saving cardiac massage. We quickly got help from the stadium doctor and we got Christian back,” he said.
“Christian spoke to me before he was taken to the hospital,” said Boesen.
Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand said several of his players had been too overwhelmed by the incident to finish the match.
“I completely understand that you can’t play a soccer match at this level after watching one of your best friends fight for his life,” a visibly drained Hjulmand said at the news conference.
Players were given the option to finish the game on Saturday evening or on Sunday, Hjulmand said, adding there had been no pressure from UEFA to finish the match on Saturday.
“It was more manageable to go in again and honestly just get it over with,” Hjulmand said.
Several players, including captain Simon Kjaer who plays for Milan in Italy, were too upset to finish the game, he said.
“Simon Kjaer was deeply, deeply touched. He was in doubt whether he could continue and gave it a shot, but ultimately he couldn’t. I completely understand that,” Hjulmand said.
A hush fell over the crowd of 16,000 fans while Eriksen received treatment on the pitch, and outside bars around central Copenhagen people gathered, many in tears, while the player’s condition remained unclear.
Hjulmand said the players came together in the dressing room, supporting each other and allowing themselves to show their emotions.
“I cannot be more proud of this group of people who take such good care of each other at this time, when a loved one is fighting for his life,” he said. “It was a very tough night and we were all reminded what’s the most important in life.”
Fusion Hotels & Resorts, one of Viet Nam’s most recognised domestic hotel brands and management companies, has acquired Glow Hotels & Resorts.
GLOW, based in Thailand, has been operating hotels in Thailand, Malaysia and Viet Nam.
The move will solidify Fusion Hotels & Resorts’ standing as a leading hotel brand and management company and position it well for future growth in the dynamic and fast-growing Southeast Asian tourism market.
After the merger the brand will have nearly 4,000 rooms.
“The union marks a new chapter for both Fusion and GLOW, allowing them to continue enhancing services to their customers, driving future growth and delivering value to shareholders,” Kevin Beauvais who has been appointed CEO of Fusion, said.
Beauvais has extensive experience in hotel operations and executive management, most recently as founder and CEO of InVision Hospitality and GLOW Hotels & Resorts.
Lodgis Hospitality Holdings, a lodging investment platform, owns Fusion. —VNS
HCM CITY— The 500-bed Củ Chi COVID-19 Treatment Hospital in HCM City’s Củ Chi District on June 12 was officially put into use, and the COVID-19 Treatment Unit at Phạm Ngọc Thạch Hospital in District 5 will open on the 13th.
Human resources for these facilities are health officials from departments of contagious diseases, resuscitation, and emergency services at the city’s major hospitals.
The facilities will help the city adapt to the ongoing COVID outbreak. The Hospital for Tropical Diseases said three of its staff were suspected of having contracted COVID-19. This will be confirmed later by the Ministry of Health.
The Hospital for Tropical Diseases is temporarily locked down for tracing contacts and stamping out the spread. However, the hospital continues providing reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests for diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 patients who are staying there.
On the same day, the city Department of Health sent an urgent dispatch about health staff compliance with regulations on COVID-19 prevention and control after working hours.
To minimize the risk of cross-infection in hospitals and from outside hospitals, the department has instructed the directors of hospitals to urgently ask their employees to improve their self-discipline in COVID-19 prevention and control.
Health staff should always comply with the Ministry of Health’s 5k message: masks – disinfection – distance – no mass gathering – health declarations. They should also wear masks during working hours.
Moreover, after working hours at hospitals, health staff should stay at home and limit contact with their neighbours and friends.
The city has recorded small COVID-19 clusters in its districts. Besides the transmission risk from COVID-19 patients who visit hospitals, health staff face other transmission risks from outside and could transmit the virus to their colleagues.
Two of the three staff at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases who may have contracted COVID-19 live in Hóc Môn District and the other resides in Thủ Đức City. VNS
The Government has created conditions for localities and businesses to stimulate the import of Covid-19 vaccines, however, no proposals have been sent to the relevant agencies.
Strict conditions have made it difficult for businesses to import vaccines despite the country is dealing with the fourth wave of the Covid-19 outbreak that has caused widespread community transmissions in many parts of Vietnam.
|A doctor conducts vaccination against Covid-19 at E Hospital in Hanoi. Photo: Cong Hung|
The Ministry of Health has recently listed 36 businesses qualified to import, transport, and preserve vaccines in Vietnam, however, there are no businesses have registered to take part in this challenging market.
To gain green light from the Government and relevant agencies, the vaccine importers need to prove their capabilities in importing, preserving, transporting, and deploying vaccination, along with commitments to fairness, anti-fraud, -dumping and -price hike in the process.
An expert from the health sector, who wanted to be anonymous, told The Hanoi Times that the businesses engaged in this big “game” need to prepare the best conditions for their warehouse system and transportation to ensure the quality of vaccines.
“The import of vaccines is not like that of normal pharmaceuticals, therefore, it is difficult for businesses to import vaccines to Vietnam even though it has been facilitated,” he said.
According to an instruction released by the Ministry of Health recently, the vaccine importers need to have a dossier including Ex Works (EXW) or certificate of quality granted by management agencies, which will be approved by the National Institute for Control of Vaccines and Biologicals within 48 hours, as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), to ensure quality and avoid importing vaccines of unknown origin.
Vietnam has allowed the import of vaccines, including AstraZeneca from the UK, Sputnick V from Russia, Pfizer from the US, Sputnick from India, and Sinovac from China, through the Government’s assigned agencies and qualified businesses.
Vu Tuan Cuong, Head of the Ministry of Health’s Drug Administration of Viet Nam, told The Hanoi Times that his department has promptly handled all orders of importing the Covid-19 vaccines from the Covax vaccine-sharing program proposed by the AstraZeneca Vietnam Company.
He said the department has also guided diplomatic organizations to submit dossiers enabling them to import the vaccines into Vietnam via non-commercial way according to the law, and approved the import of vaccines from AstraZeneca, Gamaleya, Sinopharm, and Pfizer that will be used in emergency cases.
“We have also asked businesses to send their dossiers to import other vaccines from pharmaceutical firms including Moderna and Johnson&Johnson,” Cuong said.
Cuong said the department has discussed with a number of localities, corporations, and enterprises about procedures related to the vaccine import. However, the ministry has not received any order to import Covid-19 vaccines from them.
A businessperson, who doesn’t want to disclose his name, told The Hanoi Times that the Government’s policy of opening up opportunities to import vaccines to Vietnam is a right and wise decision. His company has been negotiating with at least two vaccine manufacturers approved by WHO.
“However, this is an uneasy business at this time because the demand for vaccines is very high in many countries while the supply is limited. In addition, the conditions for importing vaccines are extremely strict. The expiry date of the vaccine is a short time, within six months from the time of production,” he said.
It may take 1.5 months to transport to Vietnam and half a month for testing and making procedures. If the vaccination is delayed, it may lead to the expiration of the vaccine,” he added.
Modern technology required
|Vietnam has imported more than 400,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine. Photo: kinhtedothi|
Vietnam Vaccine Joint Stock Company (VNVC) was the first to have imported 30 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to Vietnam. It has so far received the second batch with 287,600 doses, bringing the total number of vaccines to Vietnam under this contract to 405,200 doses.
Deputy Minister of Health Truong Quoc Cuong has directed VNVC to seek and order more Covid-19 vaccines to serve the people’s vaccination needs. In the following months, VNVC will receive millions of doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine per month.
VNVC is currently the only unit in Vietnam that owns a GSP standard cold chain system at its more than 50 vaccination centers nationwide, which are fully equipped with the modern automatic temperature control system, over-temperature warning system, and refrigerated vehicle for vaccines, ensuring standards required by the manufacturers.
The company is also the first and only unit in Vietnam to have a system of three sub-zero temperatures from around -40 degrees Celsius to -86 degrees Celsius, making the total capacity of vaccine preservation under the GSP standards up to 180 million doses of all kinds.
According to Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long, the ministry has carried out nearly 200 negotiations with global vaccine manufacturers for vaccine import and aid. They have committed to providing Vietnam with about 128.9 million doses this year. The ministry will try its best effort to reach 150 million doses from now until the end of the year, ensuring the country’s herd immunity and bring life back to normal.