Medical authorities in Ho Chi Minh City have planned to improve the capacity of its overloaded emergency treatment system during the COVID-19 pandemic by employing more ambulances and switchboard operators.
As the number of local COVID-19 infections in the metropolis has been rising rapidly, the city's 115 emergency medical response center has been overburdened with high demands for transportation to hospitals and incoming calls to its hotline.
In order to handle those backlogs, the center has resorted to Quang Trung Software City in District 12 to open an additional sub-branch of the 115 emergency switchboard, increasing its capacity from 14 to 40 transmission lines, and more if needed, according to Nguyen Duy Long, the center director.
Long added that the center will add 100 volunteers to its current team of switchboard operators, with a target of answering every incoming call.
The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Information and Communications also has plans to put artificial intelligence applications to use in the next few days to handle 3,600 calls per hour.
In addition, 100 more ambulances with sufficient emergency aid crews and medical equipment are expected to be put into operation in the next two weeks.
At the same time, 200 taxis will be converted into ambulances for patient transport.
City authorities will establish four satellite emergency stations located in Binh Chanh District, Binh Tan District, District 12, and Thu Duc City to promptly respond to emergency needs.
The moves are meant to provide both severe COVID-19 patients and others in life-threatening emergencies with early intervention and reduce the fatality rate.
The Ministry of Health on Friday morning confirmed 4,987 new domestic COVID-19 cases, including 2,740 infections in Ho Chi Minh City, taking the country's tally to 133,405, with 31,780 recoveries, as recorded since early 2020.
Since April 27, when the pandemic's fourth wave appeared in Vietnam, the city has accounted for 84,521 cases in the country's total of 129,622 domestic infections and recently led the nation in daily new infections, with thousands of patients registered per day.
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