Vietnamese doctor among three new Covid-19 patients

By Le Nga   March 22, 2020 | 08:19 pm PT
A doctor is among three new Covid-19 patients confirmed by the Health Ministry Monday morning, raising the country's tally to 116.

"Patient 116," 29 years old and the first doctor to be infected by the novel coronavirus in Vietnam, works for the emergency ward of the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Dong Anh District, Hanoi.

He has been involved in the Covid-19 fight since January 31, screening suspected cases and treating those confirmed infected.

The Health Ministry said he was fully equipped with protective gear at work. After work, he stayed and rested in an isolated area for medical staff at the hospital.

On March 19, the doctor had a sore throat. A day later, he started coughing and developed a fever and muscle pains. The next day, he isolated himself in the emergency department's area. His swab samples tested positive for the novel coronavirus at the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology.

The National Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Dong Anh District has admitted 50 Covid-19 patients since late January, five having recovered and been discharged.

Dr. Nguyen Trung Cap, head of the emergency ward at the hospital, said he and his colleagues are aware of the transmission risks because no protective gears can keep the medical worker completely safe from the virus.

"But we won't turn away from patients because of that," Cap said.

"Patient 114" is a 19-year-old Vietnamese student from the Netherlands who landed March 15 at the Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi on Singapore Airlines flight SQ176 after transiting in Singapore.

He was quarantined at a military camp in Hanoi’s Son Tay District upon arrival. On March 19, after the patient had a sore throat and developed high fever, he was transferred to the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Dong Anh District. His swab samples tested positive at the hospital the first time and at the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology the second time.

"Patient 115," a 44-year-old Vietnamese woman living in the Czech Republic, is the daughter of a 64-year-old woman from the northern province of Bac Giang, who was confirmed positive Saturday night. She is also one of five family members that boarded Aeroflot flight SU290 and landed March 18 at Hanoi’s Noi Bai Airport. Her swab samples were confirmed positive Monday morning.

As of Monday morning, Vietnam has recorded 100 new Covid-19 cases since March 6, one having been discharged. Sixteen other patients were discharged after treatment last month. Of the current active cases, 10 have tested negative either once or twice.

Many of active cases are Vietnamese nationals retuning from Europe and the U.S. and foreigners visiting from the same regions. Starting Sunday, in an unprecedented move, Vietnam has suspended entry for all foreign nationals, including those of Vietnamese origin and family members with visa waivers.

The Covid-19 pandemic has so far infected more than 330,000 people globally, claiming nearly 14,700 lives.

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