Vietnamese-American in Saigon free of novel coronavirus

By Le Phuong   February 19, 2020 | 03:30 am PT
Vietnamese-American in Saigon free of novel coronavirus
A medical worker prepares to wear a face screen to take care of Covid-19 patients at Saigon's Cho Ray Hospital, February 3, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.
A Vietnamese-American quarantined in Saigon's Hospital of Tropical Diseases since January 31 no longer carries the novel coronavirus infection.

The 73-year-old male patient has tested negative for the novel coronavirus five times in a row since February 12, Nguyen Van Vinh Chau, the hospital director, said Wednesday.

"The patient could be discharged this weekend," he said.

The patient is the eldest among Vietnam's 16 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus infection. He is also among the three confirmed cases so far in Saigon. The other two cases, a Chinese father and son, were quarantined in Saigon’s Cho Ray Hospital since January 22, and have been discharged.

According to Health Ministry guidelines, patients infected with the novel coronavirus can be discharged from a hospital only after she/he has been fever free for at least three days and blood samples have tested negative two times in a row.

The Vietnamese-American man had boarded Flight 660 of China Southern Airlines to Vietnam from the U.S. on January 14, transiting at the Wuhan Tianhe International Airport in Wuhan City, China, on January 15, for two hours.

He arrived at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCMC on January 16 and stayed at a hotel on Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, which runs through downtown Districts 1 and 3.

He started coughing on January 27 and hotel staff took him to the HCMC Hospital of Tropical Diseases in District 5 on January 31.

Vietnam officially declared the novel coronavirus outbreak an epidemic on February 1. So far 16 infections have been recorded, 11 of who have been discharged from hospitals.

The global death toll of the epidemic has reached 2,011, with two in Hong Kong, one each in Japan, Taiwan, France and the Philippines, and the rest in mainland China.

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