Vietnam’s covid hospital

Till the start of August, Vietnam, inhabitants 97 million, was the world’s largest nation with zero coronavirus deaths. A small variety of individuals have died since then. The one- celebration state applied aggressive quarantines. It additionally funneled most of its coronavirus sufferers into one central hospital in Saigon.


Covid deaths as of August 19, 2020. Supply: WHO Dashboard

It was in December 2019 after I first heard in regards to the new virus in Wuhan. We predicted that this illness would come to Vietnam quickly, as a result of China could be very close to Vietnam and we share a protracted border. We had totally different situations: What ought to we do when now we have the primary case? What ought to we do when now we have 10 circumstances? 100 circumstances? Numerous circumstances? We fastidiously ready for every situation. And we saved reminding all employees that they have to shield themselves and strictly obey all the hospital’s steering to maintain them secure. 


Our hospital is the nationwide hospital for tropical illness, so the federal government determined to ship the vast majority of our nation’s sufferers right here. In Vietnam, the primary case was in January 2020, and about two months after that we skilled the height, after we had round 100 circumstances in our hospital. And we had a whole bunch extra circumstances in isolation, who additionally stayed in our hospital. So our entire hospital was just for covid-19.

All of the employees additionally stayed within the hospital. We didn’t go dwelling. So we have been additionally quarantined for greater than three months. We have now round 350 employees. The choice for us to remain right here was made in January. It was robust, as a result of we needed to avoid our households, and on daily basis we needed to deal with these sick sufferers and listen to about their conditions. 

We at all times had sufficient PPE [personal protective equipment]. Our factories additionally began producing additional in February. In the beginning of the pandemic, we anxious that perhaps we’d lack that, so we tried to reuse N95 masks and we tried to cut back utilizing PPE by, for instance, solely carrying one in the course of the 4 hours after we labored immediately within the sufferers’ space. However at this second, now we have a lot PPE that we’re exporting it to different nations.  

All of the employees additionally stayed within the hospital. We didn’t go dwelling. So we have been additionally quarantined for greater than three months.

I believe within the nation’s combat in opposition to covid-19, the media has been crucial. They supply steady info, in order that the inhabitants can have real-time updates, after which consider within the authorities and strictly obey all their tips. We even have many humorous movies about handwashing and carrying masks, a few of them with well-known singers. And this additionally made it simpler for the kids and for aged individuals to grasp and apply these tips. We extremely respect that Vietnamese individuals principally adopted all the foundations, as a result of it helped us loads. The rationale we will help them up till right this moment was as a result of we efficiently restricted the numbers [of new infections]. Vietnam is a growing nation and our sources are very, very restricted.

After I lastly acquired to go dwelling to my household once more, it was on Might 29. We have been allowed to go as a result of we had no extra optimistic circumstances in our hospital. On a median day in the course of the peak in March and April, it actually felt like we have been working 24-hour days. These three months have been shorter than what I had anticipated, as a result of initially of the pandemic, it was rising so quick around the globe. However we’re fortunate in Vietnam. Solely two medical employees throughout the entire nation ever acquired covid-19. They have been each working within the ICU with extreme sufferers, intubating them. It was a foul expertise for us, however due to that, we improved our security procedures. For me, life remains to be not again to regular now as a result of our division nonetheless serves covid-19 sufferers, so we’re nonetheless quarantined from the better group. However our days will not be as lengthy now.

This interview has been condensed and edited for readability.

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