First nCoV patient discharged in Vietnam

By Le Hoang, Le Phuong   February 2, 2020 | 09:43 pm PT
First nCoV patient discharged in Vietnam
Nguyen Thi Thu Trang (R) with a doctor at Thanh Hoa General Hospital in Thanh Hoa Province, central Vietnam, as she is discharged, February 3, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/To Ha.
A Vietnamese woman has been discharged from hospital after doctors declared her free of the new coronavirus she was found infected with.

Nguyen Thu Trang, 25, a native of Thanh Hoa Province in north central Vietnam, was released from the provincial general hospital Monday morning.

"The patient has had no fever for six days in a row and her health is now in stable condition. Two latest tests for the novel coronavirus (nCoV) has showed negative result," said hospital director Nguyen Van Sy.

Trang was one of four Vietnamese employees of Japan-based Nihon Plast Company found infected with the nCoV after returning from Wuhan City in China's Hubei Province where they'd been sent to train for two months.

The fourth person was confirmed as Vietnam's eighth nCoV infection Monday morning.

The four are among eight employees of the company sent to Wuhan, the epicenter of the epidemic. They returned to Vietnam on a Southern China Airlines flight (CZ8315) on January 17.

While Trang has been discharged, the other three are still quarantined and undergoing treatment.

Meanwhile, two Chinese nationals, Li Zichao, 28, and his father Li Ding, 66, confirmed as Vietnam's first cases of the nCoV infection on January 23, are recovering at the Cho Ray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City.

Not WHO recommended treatment

After treatment, Zichao has repeatedly tested negative for nCoV since January 27.

On Saturday, Ding also tested negative for the first time. Doctors at Cho Ray said if the next tests also turn out to be negative, it can be confirmed that both father and son have recovered fully.

According to the hospital, Zichao, the son whose health was normal before he became infected, only took medicines for fever and did not receive any antibiotics during the treatment process.

He has been sent to the hospital's rooftop every morning for sunlight and outdoor exercise. In the room he is quarantined for treatment, windows are opened to receive natural air and sunlight and ensure warm indoor temperature to weaken the virus.

Doctors have asked him gargle every day with an antiseptic solution.

"Foreign medical documents have not mentioned the methods we have applied, but we have depended on our own experiences and scientific evidence in taking care of patients on ventilators, we decided to let patients gargle to prevent the virus," said doctor Le Quoc Hung, dean of the tropical disease department at Cho Ray, who directly joined the team treating the two patients.

Such treatment methods have not been applied or recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), he added.

Hung also said there has been no official treatment regimen so far for nCoV infections and the general recommendation is supportive treatment.

Treatment varies from place to place based on each patient's situation, he said.

As for the father, Li Ding, doctors have had to run tests and keep track of his situation each day to make suitable adjustments because he has different ailments including diabetes, hypertension and coronary insufficiency, apart from an operation for lung cancer.

Vietnam's government declared the novel coronavirus an epidemic on Saturday.

The nCoV death toll has reached 362 – 361 in China and one in the Philippines. More than 17,300 have been infected and 486 have recovered.

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