nCoV virus: 35 people await test results, says health ministry

By Nguyen Chi   January 26, 2020 | 09:47 pm PT
nCoV virus: 35 people await test results, says health ministry
A quarantine room at Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi. Photo courtesy of Bach Mai Hospital.
Of patients suspected of carrying the new pneumonia virus originating in China, two have tested positive, 22 negative and 35 are awaiting results.

The Ministry of Health on Sunday afternoon revealed these figures in the third emergency meeting called in the past four days over the spread of the deadly nCoV pneumonia virus.

As of January 26 (the second day of Lunar New Year) afternoon, health officials in the northern region had quarantined 23 people suspected of carrying the infection, and were awaiting test results.

In the southern region, Phan Trong Lan, director of Ho Chi Minh City Pasteur Institute, said two Chinese nationals from Hubei Province are being monitored on Phu Quoc Island.

In the central region, of 24 suspected cases of nCoV infection, 14 have tested negative and the remaining need further tests.

Thus, the total number of patients suspected of carrying the nCoV virus has risen to 35. All have been tested, quarantined and are being monitored.

A Chinese father and son confirmed to be infected with the nCoV virus remain quarantined at the Cho Ray Hospital in Saigon. After three days of treatment, the son no longer has a fever, while the father is still on oxygen support, due to a lung injury.

Those who have been in contact with suspected patients have been cautioned and are being monitored closely by health officials, the meeting heard.

Tran Dac Phu, former head of the general department of preventive medicine under the Ministry of Health, advised people not to worry, since no Vietnamese have been confirmed infected yet.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said the situation regarding the coronavirus epidemic is stable in Vietnam. Vietnam was proactively taking preventive measures at a high level, especially in areas visited by Chinese nationals, he said.

Dam noted that Japan and Thailand have not yet raised the same level of high alert on the problem as Vietnam has done. 

Vietnam demands all tourists from China complete health declaration forms as it combats the spread of the new coronavirus. The Ministry of Health order, effective starting Saturday, requires all tourists with symptoms of the nCoV like coughing, fever, shortness of breath and fatigue be examined and quarantined.

"Because of our geographic location, we have to pay the highest attention to detect, quarantine and care for suspect patients in time so that the virus does not spread widely. Prevention of the outbreak must be placed on top, even sacrificing economic benefits," he said.

Deputy Minister of Health Do Xuan Tuyen said the ministry has opened a public emergency response center to report daily on the situation and directed localities to closely monitor, detect and treat cases of suspected infection.

Acute pneumonia caused by nCoV virus has spread rapidly in 30 provinces of mainland China. The disease has also spread to Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Macau, Hong Kong, the U.S., Singapore, Malaysia, France and Canada.

As of January 27 morning, there were more than 2,510 cases of nCoV infection recorded worldwide. China declared it has had 80 deaths caused by the virus. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the coronavirus is contagious and transmissible between humans. However, the agency has not yet initiated measures to restrict trade and tourism activities with China.

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