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Epidemiological surveillance launched in Vietnamese province following first coronavirus cases

Friday, January 24, 2020, 13:05 GMT+7
Epidemiological surveillance launched in Vietnamese province following first coronavirus cases
Doctors examine the Chinese patients at Cho Ray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Vietnam News Agency

The Department of Health in the south-central Vietnamese province of Khanh Hoa has initiated epidemiological surveillance after two Chinese citizens tested positive for novel coronavirus (nCoV) in Ho Chi Minh City following their stay in the province.

The two patients are Li Ding, 66, and his son, 28-year-old Li Zichao.

Li Ding and his wife arrived in Hanoi from Wuhan City, China on January 13, before heading to Nha Trang City, Khanh Hoa Province on a domestic flight on January 17.

Li Zichao, who has lived in the Mekong Delta province of Long An for the past four months, also went to Nha Trang to see his parents.

The family stayed at a hotel in Nha Trang from January 17 to 19 before traveling to Ho Chi Minh City by train.

The father got a fever on January 17, while his son had similar symptoms on January 20.

They were admitted to Cho Ray Hospital in the southern metropolis on Wednesday night.

Their coronavirus infection was announced on Thursday.

Their fevers have subsided after receiving treatment and the patients are now able to consume food and drinks.

Although the two Chinese citizens were found infected by the coronavirus in Ho Chi Minh City several days after they left Nha Trang, carrying out the epidemiological surveillance is still necessary and in accordance with procedures, said Dr. Bui Xuan Minh, director of the Khanh Hoa Department of Health.

The health department previously installed five remote body thermometers at Cam Ran airport to monitor international visitors to Khanh Hoa Province.

No international tourists have been found carrying the coronavirus in the province so far, Dr. Minh elaborated.

A pneumonia outbreak, caused by a new strain of the coronavirus family that caused SARS and MERS, first surfaced in Wuhan City in December.

The disease has spread to many countries and territories, while China's National Health Commission has confirmed 541 infection cases and 17 deaths as of January 23.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Health has warned people to keep a distance from people with acute respiratory infections and wear a mask when talking to them.

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