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After Lockdown, Bach Mai Criticized Over Clip Showing Doctors Gathering Without Masks

Hanoi’s lockdown order on Bach Mai Hospital was lifted over the weekend, but the hospital is now facing censure over a video that surfaced online.

In late March, it was confirmed that two nurses at Hanoi’s Bach Mai Hospital tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Over time, the cluster grew larger, with over 30 new cases, all with direct or indirect links to Truong Sinh Company, the hospital’s welfare contractor that provided hot water and ran the campus’ canteen. A majority of the cases were company staff, while some were current patients and their caretakers.

To contain the viral spread, Hanoi decided to put Bach Mai on lockdown starting from March 28, while the city disinfected the entire premise, conducted contact tracing, and tested all of those involved. Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung announced on April 8 that over 4,000 hospital staff had tested negative.

Last Sunday, April 12, the lockdown order ended, to the joyful reaction of hospital staff and patients, though Bach Mai is now facing another scandal.

A video began circulating on local social media a few days ago showing a crowd of people engaging in an impromptu karaoke session. It was allegedly filmed inside Bach Mai Hospital on April 10, two days before the mandatory isolation was lifted. In the three-minute video, a man can be seen singing in a courtyard, surrounded by spectators wearing hospital uniforms, some of whom are not wearing masks.

An excerpt from the controversial video footage.

The video quickly drew criticism from netizens, who chastized the people depicted for violating the official rules on social distancing, including wearing masks and maintaining at least two meters of space during social interactions.

At the time of writing, the hospital administration hasn’t responded to the complaints, but the Ministry of Health issued an official request on April 12 asking Bach Mai to submit a report on the veracity of the footage, the lack of masks and the crowded gathering shown. The ministry also ordered management to discipline those involved in the offense.

In related news, Bach Mai Hospital Director Nguyen Quang Tuan announced recently that the hospital has stopped working with Truong Sinh Company and is in the process of finding another contractor. He added that Bach Mai has installed hot water dispensers for patients and their caretakers.

[Photo via Bao Moi]

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