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Medics Struggle To Cope With Rising Number Of Covid Patients

Source: Vientiane Times

Health authorities say that Covid response measures are being strengthened and that patients have adequate access to healthcare.

Medical staff are treating Covid patients as far as their competence allows but, due to the increase in the number of cases, it is difficult to meet the needs of patients in some areas.

Speaking at a media briefing, Director General of the Department of Communicable Disease Control, Ministry of Health, Dr Rattanaxay Phetsouvanh, admitted that despite the opening of more makeshift hospitals, health officials say medical staff are unable to adequately deal with the growing number of patients.

The Ministry of Health has instructed administrators at every hospital to provide health services to the public on a regular basis including treatment for Covid patients, although the number of medical staff is limited.

More healthcare workers are needed while the number of Covid cases continues to rise, Dr Rattanaxay said.

“However, we have been successful in some sectors over the past few months. The National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control is trying to control the virus outbreak, setting up more quarantine facilities and treating sufficient numbers of patients each day,” he added.

The taskforce is collaborating with the World Health Organisation to discuss the treatment of people who have no symptoms of Covid and basic guidelines for the home treatment of people with no symptoms.

The ministry is mobilising doctors and nurses from government and private hospitals, as well as other medical teams, to support efforts to bring the virus outbreak under control, Dr Rattanaxay said.

Some hospitals in Vientiane and the provinces have set up emergency medical teams to treat people with less severe symptoms and are also prepared for a worst-case scenario viral outbreak.

Lao doctors are working with Chinese medics and have learnt valuable lessons in dealing with the outbreak and the treatment of patients.

Health authorities are coordinating closely with their counterparts in China, who have experience in containing the virus and treating patients.

Deputy Director of Mittaphab Hospital, Dr Vangnakhone Dittaphong, said the hospital has several isolation rooms, each of which can accommodate one person.

Doctors and nurses are divided into teams to take care of patients on a seven-day rotation. After one week on duty, each team will be placed under quarantine and monitored for 14 days to check that they are not infected.