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Retracing the steps of Vietnam’s 3 new coronavirus patients

Retracing the steps of Vietnam’s 3 new coronavirus patients

Friday, January 31, 2020, 16:42 GMT+7
Retracing the steps of Vietnam’s 3 new coronavirus patients
The Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Dong Anh District, Hanoi. Photo: Lan Anh / Tuoi Tre

Vietnam’s Ministry of Health has published a detailed travel history of three Vietnamese whose novel coronavirus (nCoV) infection was confirmed on Thursday.

All the newly nCoV-infected patients returned to Vietnam from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epidemic center where the killer virus first surfaced in December 2019, on China Southern Airlines flight CZ8315 on January 17.

Nguyen Thi Tr., a 25-year-old woman from Yen Dinh District in the north-central province of Thanh Hoa, was the earliest among the three new Vietnamese infections to have the novel coronavirus detected in her test sample, according to the Vietnamese health ministry.

Upon Tr.’s arrival at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on January 17, she was picked up by her company’s bus to its headquarters in Binh Xuyen District, located in the northern province of Vinh Phuc.

Tr. traveled to the Giap Bat Bus Station located in Hanoi’s Soc Son District to catch a passenger bus to go to her hometown on January 23.

She traveled a total distance of 214 kilometers and arrived at her home at 6:00 pm on the same day.

Four hours later that day, Tr. showed the first symptoms of the nCoV infection and was taken to the General Hospital of Yen Dinh District at 1:00 pm on January 24, before being transferred to the department for tropical diseases at Thanh Hoa General Hospital.

She was conscious with symptoms including a fever and coughing upon admission to the hospital.

She was sampled by the Thanh Hoa Provincial Center for Disease Control on the same day and her sample was delivered to the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE) for testing.

Currently, Tr. is quarantined at Thanh Hoa General Hospital in a stable condition.

The second patient who tested positive for the new coronavirus was Pham Van Ch., a 29 year-old man from Tam Duong District in Vinh Phuc Province.

Ch. first had symptoms of the nCoV infection on January 21 and went to see a doctor at a private clinic in Tam Duong.

People wear masks during a festival at Dong Da Mound special national relic site in Hanoi on January 29, 2020. Photo: Thien Dieu / Tuoi Tre

People wear face masks during a festival at the Dong Da Mound special national relic site in Hanoi on January 29, 2020. Photo: Thien Dieu / Tuoi Tre

Ch. started receiving treatment at Vinh Phuc General Hospital on January 23, before being hospitalized at the Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi’s Dong Da District on January 26.

He was sampled by NIHE on the same day and is currently kept in quarantine at the Dong Da District-based infirmary.

Nguyen Thi D., a 23-year-old woman from Vinh Phuc’s Binh Xuyen District, was the last patient sampled by NIHE among the three.

D. took a taxi to the Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi’s Dong Anh District with her father on January 25.

D. was said to have interacted with many family members and relatives between her arrival in Vietnam and hospitalization.

NIHE took a test sample of D. on January 27.

All three samples of Tr., Ch., and D. tested positive for the novel coronavirus using both testing techniques of next generation sequencing (NGS) and Realtime RT - PCR.

NGS allows determining the sequence of DNA molecules in a single experiment, while Realtime RT - PCR is a laboratory technique of molecular biology based on the polymerase chain reaction, according to ScienceDirect, a platform of peer-reviewed science literature and research.

The novel coronavirus is a new strain of the coronavirus family that caused SARS and MERS.

The virus has spread to 18 countries outside of China, the World Health Organization said on Friday as it declared that the coronavirus epidemic in China now constitutes a public health emergency of international concern.

The pneumonia outbreak has infected nearly 10,000 people across the globe as of Friday, and killed 213 in China, Reuters reported.

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