|A woman wears a protective mask as she exercises on the street amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 31. (Photo by= Reuters/Thanh Hue)|
[Asia News = Reporter Reakkana] HANOI: Vietnam's health ministry issued an urgent appeal on Friday (Jul 30) for private hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients as the Southeast Asian country battles a surge in infections driven by the highly contagious Delta variant, Reuters reported After successfully containing the virus for much of the pandemic, Vietnam has been facing record daily increases in infections since late April. The country has detected a total of 133,000 cases, 85 percent of which were recorded over the past month.
"The COVID-19 pandemic is evolving in a very complicated manner and is on a worsening trend in many cities and provinces," the health ministry said in a statement. Private medical facilities should make their beds, equipment and manpower available to treat COVID-19 cases when assigned to do so by authorities, the statement added. Vietnam has an additional 20,000 beds across 228 private hospitals in the country, according to health ministry data.
Vietnam had maintained a policy that required anyone who tested positive for the virus to be hospitalized at a state-run institution. With cases rapidly rising and the capacity of state hospitals stretched, however, asymptomatic cases in virus epicenter Ho Chi Minh City have been permitted to isolate at home on a trial basis.