Vietnam confirms 17th Covid-19 patient

By Staff reporters   March 6, 2020 | 09:00 am PT
Vietnam confirms 17th Covid-19 patient
A health worker in protective gear takes part in a Covid-19 prevention drill in HCMC, March 5, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Nhu Quynh.
A 26-year old woman returning from Europe has tested positive for the novel coronavirus after Vietnam went 22 days with no new infection.

The Vietnamese woman has been quarantined and is undergoing treatment at Campus No.2 of the Hanoi Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases, the capital city’s Chairman, Nguyen Duc Chung, said at an emergency meeting held late Friday.

This is the first Covid-19 infection recorded in Hanoi. 

Chung said the patient had left Hanoi's Noi Bai Airport on February 15 to visit family members living in London, England. Three days later, she traveled from London to Milan City, in the province of Lombardy, Italy, and returned to London on February 20. 

During her time in Milan, Lombardy had not recorded any Covid-19 positive case.

On February 25, the woman traveled from London to Paris to visit her sister. She contracted a cough on February 29, but did not get checked up.

On March 1, she reportedly felt body pain and fatigue, but it was unclear if she had a fever. The same day, she boarded flight VN54 of Vietnam Airlines from London and landed in Hanoi at 4:30 a.m. on March 2. She did not have a fever then.

After completing entry procedures, the patient was allowed to drive a family car home to Truc Bach Street in Ba Dinh District’s Truc Bach Ward.

Later, she developed a mild fever and coughed a lot, and was admitted to Hong Ngoc Hospital in Ba Dinh District Thursday. The very same day, she was transferred to the Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases where she tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Eight of the patient’s family members including her father, uncle, five janitors and a personal chauffeur are also being isolated at the Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases. All are reportedly healthy, with no signs of fever or cough.

Seventeen doctors from Hong Ngoc Hospital in Yen Ninh Street, Ba Dinh District who had been in contact with the patient are also being isolated at the hospital, and in good health.

The Hanoi People's Committee Friday afternoon set up a Covid-19 emergency response committee for Truc Bach Ward, blocked Truc Bach Street and closed shops in the area.

The areas around the patient's home on Truc Bach Street and Hong Ngoc Hospital were sprayed with disinfectant by the local health authority. People living on the same street have been asked to isolate themselves at home, but it is as yet unclear how many people will have to isolate themselves. 

Flight VN0054 carried 201 passengers, and authorities are in the process of verifying their names and whereabouts.

After Vietnam reported its 16th Covid-19 infection on February 13, the nation went 22 days without detecting any new case.

Previously, all the 16 patients in the northern province of Vinh Phuc, central provinces of Thanh Hoa and Khanh Hoa and Ho Chi Minh City had recovered and been discharged from hospitals.

As of 6 p.m. Friday, 23,228 people were being isolated at home or in communal facilities across the country, an increase of 9,000 compared to the day before, while another 101 infection suspects are being isolated in hospitals.

The Covid-19 outbreak broke out in China’s Wuhan City, Hubei Province late December last year. By Friday, the disease had infected over 100,000 people worldwide and killed 3,412, mostly Chinese citizens.

Italy recorded another 700 Covid-19 positive cases Friday, bringing its total infection count to more than 3,800. The country has so far reported 148 deaths, making it the country with the second highest number of deaths after China. 

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