In response to a call for help during a surge in coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) cases in Ho Chi Minh City in July 2021, the University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Ho Chi Minh City developed and implemented a community care model for the management of patients with COVID-19. This was based on three main principles: home care; providing monitoring and care at a distance; and providing timely emergency care if needed. One team supported patients at home with frequent contacts and remote monitoring, while a second team transferred and cared for patients requiring treatment at field emergency care facilities. COVID-19-related mortality rates at the two districts where this approach was implemented (0.43% and 0.57%) were substantially lower than the overall rate in Ho Chi Minh City over the same period (4.95%). Thus, utilization of a community care model can increase the number of patients with COVID-19 who can be effectively managed from home, and use of field emergency care facilities limited the number of patients that had to be referred for tertiary care. Importantly, the community care model also markedly reduced the mortality rate compared with traditional methods of COVID-19 patient management.
Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Vietnam; community; pandemic.
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