Vietnamese-American man with novel coronavirus tests negative for the first time

By Le Phuong   February 16, 2020 | 11:32 pm PT
Vietnamese-American man with novel coronavirus tests negative for the first time
A doctor at Cho Ray Hospital in HCMC disinfects medical tools. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.
Two weeks after he was quarantined, a Vietnamese-American Covid-19 patient in Saigon has tested negative for the first time.

Dr. Nguyen Van Vinh Chau, director of the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in HCMC, said the hospital took blood samples from the 73-year-old patient for testing last Saturday and the result, released Monday, was negative for the first time since his isolation.

Other clinical symptoms of the patient also improved. Doctors found his organ functions and blood test results for other factors were normal.

"The patient will have to undergo tests again to ensure that all samples are negative for the novel coronavirus before being discharged from the hospital," Chau said.

According to the Health Ministry guidelines, people infected with Covid-19 can be discharged from a hospital only after she/he has been fever free for at least three days and samples have tested negative two times in a row.

The unnamed 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 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.

18 people who had close contact with the patient - eight hotel staff and ten guests staying in the hotel, have completed their quarantine and are in good health.

According to the the city's Center for Disease Control, 32 cases of suspected Covid-19 infection in the city have tested negative so far. As of last Sunday, no new cases had been detected.

Vietnam officially declared the novel coronavirus outbreak an epidemic on February 1 and has confirmed 16 cases of infection. Seven of the patients have recovered and been discharged.

As of Monday, the global Covid-19 death toll has climbed to 1,776 and confirmed infections topped 71,330, of whom over 11,000 have recovered.

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