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How can recovered patients take part in Ho Chi Minh City’s COVID-19 response?

Friday, September 10, 2021, 10:11 GMT+7
How can recovered patients take part in Ho Chi Minh City’s COVID-19 response?
A volunteer takes care of a COVID-19 patient at a treatment facility in Binh Chanh District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Thu Hien / Tuoi Tre

Recovered COVID-19 patients can contribute to Ho Chi Minh City’s pandemic prevention and control efforts provided they meet certain requirements laid down by the municipal health department.

The increasing number of coronavirus cases in Ho Chi Minh City has been posing a lot of difficulties for health workers at local treatment and quarantine facilities, according to the municipal Department of Health.

City officials hope that enlisting the help of recovered patients, who theoretically have built up sufficient antibodies to protect against reinfection, will provide much needed support for the city’s already stretched resources.

A plan developed by the health department to recruit and deploy volunteers is currently under review by the municipal People’s Committee.

In order to become volunteers in the city’s pandemic response, recovered patients must meet certain requirements, including having completed 14-day self-quarantine following their recovery, being in good health, being of working age, and not being pregnant.

Additionally, they must have recovered from COVID-19 within the past six months.

Those who recovered from the disease more than six months ago may volunteer provided they are fully vaccinated.

Eligible volunteers are required to undergo short-term training courses on COVID-19 prevention and control, including on how to care for coronavirus patients. 

They must also comply with safety protocols and other regulations as required by the units overseeing their volunteer duties.

Volunteers will be provided with allowances and partial support for their living expenses.

During a meeting held last week to discuss the city’s response to the pandemic, Nguyen Hoai Nam, deputy director of the Department of Health, stated that recovered patients are a valuable resource thanks to the antibodies their immune systems have developed.  

Local authorities are planning on recruiting these residents as full-time employees at local COVID-19 treatment facilities.

They will be in charge of assisting health workers so that the latter can focus on their professional tasks, Nam added.

Ho Chi Minh City is currently Vietnam’s largest COVID-19 epicenter, with nearly 273,000 local infections recorded since the fourth wave started on April 27.

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