Cured Vietnamese-American coronavirus patient exits Saigon hospital

By Le Phuong   February 21, 2020 | 04:06 pm GMT+7

The last patient to be quarantined for the novel coronavirus in Saigon recovered and was discharged Friday afternoon.

Ta Kien Hoa, 73, was admitted to Saigon's Hospital of Tropical Diseases on January 31.

He tested negative for the coronavirus multiple times since February 12, said Nguyen Van Vinh Chau, hospital director.

Ta thanked doctors and other medical staff who helped cure him, saying: "They have given me my second chance at life."

Ta Kien Hoa waves goodbye to doctors and nurses at the Saigons Hospital of Tropical Diseases as he is discharged after receiving treatment for the novel coronavirus, February 21, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.

Ta Kien Hoa waves goodbye to doctors and nurses at the Saigon's Hospital of Tropical Diseases as he is discharged after receiving treatment for the novel coronavirus, February 21, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.

The patient is the eldest among Vietnam's 16 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection. He is also among the three confirmed cases so far in Saigon. The other two, a Chinese father and son quarantined in Saigon’s Cho Ray Hospital from January 22, were discharged earlier this month.

According to Health Ministry guidelines, fever free patients formerly infected by the coronavirus can be discharged from hospital only after blood samples have tested negative at least two times in a row.

The Vietnamese-American man had boarded Flight 660 of China Southern Airlines to Vietnam from the U.S. on January 14, transiting at Wuhan Tianhe International Airport in Wuhan City, China, on January 15, for two hours.

He arrived at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Saigon on January 16 and stayed at a hotel on Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, which dissects downtown Districts 1 and 3.

After developing a cough on January 27, hotel staff took him to Hospital of Tropical Diseases in District 5 on January 31.

Vietnam officially declared the coronavirus outbreak an epidemic on February 1. So far, 16 infections have been recorded.

Following Ta's discharge, Vietnam has only one case of infection left: a 50-year-old man in the northern Vinh Phuc Province, who was infected by his 23-year-old daughter, one of eight workers returning from Wuhan after training. The father was quarantined on February 13 at a local health center, while his daughter was discharged on February 10.

The global death toll has reached 2,247, one each in South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, France and the Philippines, two each in Hong Kong, Iran and on the Diamond Princess cruise ship currently quarantined off Japan, and the rest in mainland China.

 
 
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