Grateful Chinese coronavirus patient lauds Saigon hospital staff

By Le Phuong   February 3, 2020 | 08:22 pm PT
Grateful Chinese coronavirus patient lauds Saigon hospital staff
Chinese national Li Zichao holds flowers gifted by HCMC's Cho Ray Hospital as he is discharged on February 4. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.
The second coronavirus patient to be discharged in Vietnam has expressed his gratitude to the doctors and staff of Saigon's Cho Ray Hospital.

Li Zichao, 28, is one of two Chinese men who were the first people confirmed infected with the deadly new coronavirus in Vietnam.

Zichao was discharged Tuesday morning.

He had tested negative for the nCoV four times since January 27, four days after he was first detected with the virus.

His health is completely normal now, said hospital director Nguyen Tri Thuc.

But Zichao wants to continue staying at the hospital to take care of his father, who was also infected and is still under treatment.

"I would like to express my gratitude to doctors and nurses that have willingly treated me. They have not just cured me, but taken care of me mentally and created conditions for me to stay and look after my father," Zichao said at a ceremony held to celebrate his discharge.

Zichao and his father Li Ding, 66, are the first two infection cases of the new Wuhan pnenomina virus in Vietnam.

Ding arrived in Hanoi from Wuhan City, the epicenter of the epidemic, in Hubei Province, on January 13, before proceeding to Nha Trang in the central province of Khanh Hoa. His son Zichao, who had been residing in Long An Province for the previous four months, went to visit him in Nha Trang. Both of them traveled to Saigon and Long An later. Ding developed a fever on January 17, and Zichao followed suit on January 20. Both were admitted to the Cho Ray Hospital and tested positive on January 23.

Le Quoc Hung, the dean of the hospital’s tropical diasease department, said the father is recovering well and his health is now in stable condition.

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

For 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.

Phan Trong Lan, head of the Pasteur Institute in HCMC, said which could be considered good news is that 28 people that have had come into contact with the two patients in the city have all passed the quarantine period without signs of having caught the virus, and all doctors and nurses directly treating the two patients do not have any symptoms of infection.

Doctors at Cho Ray Hospital said previously they had applied methods not recommended by the World Health Organization to treat Zichao, including sending him to the hospital's rooftop every morning for sunlight and outdoor exercise, quarantining him in the room with windows kept opened to receive natural air and sunlight and ensure warm indoor temperatures to weaken the virus, and making him gargle every day with an antiseptic solution.

Zichao is the second nCoV infection patient to be discharged from hospital.

The first one is Vietnamese woman Nguyen Thu Trang, 25, a native of Thanh Hoa Province in north central Vietnam.

Vietnam confirmed Tuesday morning its ninth nCoV infection case, a man who was among a group of eight workers returning from work training in Wuhan on January 17.

Four of them, including Trang, have tested positive for the nCoV.

Other confirmed cases in Vietnam are a Vietnamese-American who transited in Wuhan en route and a hotel receptionist who caught the coronavirus infection from the Chinese father-son duo.

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