Vietnam stays clear of new Covid-19 cases for fourth consecutive day

By Le Nga   April 19, 2020 | 03:47 pm PT
Vietnam stays clear of new Covid-19 cases for fourth consecutive day
A doctor imports data on Covid-19 test samples inside a laboratory at the Preventive Health Center of Nghe An Province in central Vietnam, April 17, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Hai.
Monday morning marked the fourth day in succession that Vietnam recorded no new Covid-19 infection, keeping active cases at 66.

The number of active cases actually increased by one after the relapse of a Hanoi woman three days after her discharge. Excluding her, 202 of Vietnam’s 268 patients have been discharged from hospitals.

"Patient 188," 44, a resident of the capital city’s Chuong My District, is an employee of the Truong Sinh Company, which provides food and logistic services for several hospitals in Hanoi, including the Bach Mai Hospital, a major Covid-19 hotspot. 

So far, 163,377 novel coronavirus tests have been conducted nationwide.

Tran Dac Phu, senior advisor at the Public Health Emergency Operations Center under the Health Ministry, said Sunday: "So far there has been no new community transmission hotspot in the country, which is a positive sign. However, I insist that we do not let our guard down."

"Patient 188" is Vietnam's second case to relapse and test positive for the novel coronavirus. The other was "Patient 22," a 66-year-old British man who flew from the U.K. to Vietnam on March 2. His was discharged in Da Nang and his sample tested positive again when it was taken two weeks later just before his departure from HCMC. However, he has tested negative back home in the U.K.

"Relapse is something that can totally happen, even if it is rare," Phu said, adding that global health institutes and the World Health Organization have many theories for that, including mistakes in testing, the immune systems of the patients, which have not been strengthened enough to beat the virus once and for all. They also think that the novel coronavirus has reactivated after going into a "sleeping state."

"Theoretically, recovered Covid-19 patients who later relapse can still transmit the virus to others," he warned.

The Covid-19 pandemic has spread to 210 countries and territories, with nearly 165,000 deaths reported so far.

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