10-year-old boy latest coronavirus patient in Vietnam

By Le Nga   March 30, 2020 | 03:37 pm PT
10-year-old boy latest coronavirus patient in Vietnam
A doctor sets up medical equipment at a field hospital for treating Covid-19 patient in HCMC, February 10, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
A boy returning to Vietnam from Turkey has been confirmed infected with the novel coronavirus, raising the country’s Covid-19 total to 204.

The 10-year-old lives in Cat Lai Ward, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City.

He traveled from Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic, to Turkey on flight TK1770 of Turkish Airlines, seat 20B, on March 14.

The next day, he flew from the Turkish capital of Istanbul to HCMC on Turkish Airlines flight TK162, seat 16K. This is the same flight that had carried "Patient 83," a 50-year-old American woman who lives in Saigon's Binh Thanh District.

When entering Vietnam, the boy was asymptomatic and was sent to a quarantine camp in HCMC’s District 12.

He tested negative on March 18. However, a person who was quarantined in the same room with him said he had sneezed a few times.

On March 27, the boy’s samples were tested again and he was found Covid-19 positive.

The boy is now undergoing treatment at a field hospital in Can Gio District. He is among six active child patients of Covid-19 in Vietnam, besides a two girls - two and nine years old, and three boys - 10, 11 and 13 years old.

The boy is Vietnam’s 204th Covid-19 infection. Fifty-five of the 204 have recovered and been discharged.

HCMC alone has recorded 46 cases, of whom 10 have been discharged from hospital.

Many of the currently active cases are Vietnamese nationals returning from Europe and the U.S., foreigners coming from the same regions and those who’d come into contact with both groups of people.

There have been at least 13 cases linked to the Buddha Bar in HCMC's expat precinct in District 2's Thao Dien Ward, and 33 cases linked to the Bach Mai Hospital and its partner Truong Sinh Company. The hospital, one of Vietnam's largest, has been locked down since Saturday.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Monday agreed with a Health Ministry proposal to declare the country's Covid-19 outbreak 'a national epidemic' and asked people nationwide to stay home, heavily restricting their outside movements for at least 15 days.

The government had decided on Sunday to suspend all international passenger flights to Vietnam and limit flights between Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and other localities in the coming two weeks.

Starting March 22, Vietnam has suspended entry for all foreign nationals, including those of Vietnamese origin and family members with visa waivers.

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected 200 countries and territories, killing more than 37,700 people.

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