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Ho Chi Minh City’s last COVID-19 patient discharged from hospital

Friday, February 21, 2020, 16:32 GMT+7
Ho Chi Minh City’s last COVID-19 patient discharged from hospital
Vietnamese-American COVID-19 patient Ta Hoa Kien holds a paper confirming his discharge from the Ho Chi Minh City Hospital for Tropical Diseases in District 5, February 21, 2020. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

A Vietnamese-American man, the last patient being treated for the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Ho Chi Minh City, has been released from the hospital after receiving a three-week course of treatment.

The Ho Chi Minh City Hospital for Tropical Diseases in District 5 discharged Ta Hoa Kien., who is an American of Vietnamese descent,, on Friday afternoon.

Kien was admitted to the Ho Chi Minh City Hospital for Tropical Diseases on January 31 severely ill with symptoms including a fever, coughing, and shortness of breath.

Tests later showed he was positive for the novel coronavirus – now named SARS-CoV-2 by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses – making him the seventh confirmed case in Vietnam and the third in Ho Chi Minh City after two Chinese men.

Three weeks into treatment, the 73-year-old man constantly tested negative for the virus between February 12 and 17 and is now clear of all disease symptoms.

Vietnamese-American COVID-19 patient Ta Hoa Kien waves upon his discharge from the Ho Chi Minh City Hospital for Tropical Diseases in District 5, February 21, 2020 Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Vietnamese-American COVID-19 patient Ta Hoa Kien waves upon his discharge from the Ho Chi Minh City Hospital for Tropical Diseases in District 5, February 21, 2020 Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

As per treatment guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health, a COVID-19 patient is allowed to be discharged from the hospital only after their fever has ceased for at least three days and at least two samples, taken one day apart, test negative for the virus.

Kien is now out of the hospital after meeting all of the above requirements.

“The doctors here saved me from dying. I will be grateful for all that they’ve done for the rest of my life,” he said upon his discharge.

The novel coronavirus disease, named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization (WHO), has killed 2,247 people and infected over 76,700 globally since it first surfaced in the Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei Province in December 2019, according to the South China Morning Post.

To date Vietnam has confirmed 16 cases of the viral infection, including 13 Vietnamese, one Vietnamese American, and two Chinese.

Before the Vietnamese-American man’s discharge in Ho Chi Minh City, two other COVID-19 patients in the northern province of Vinh Phuc were released from a local general clinic on Thursday afternoon.

Two COVID-19 patients (R) are released from a local general clinic in the northern province of Vinh Phuc, Vietnam, February 20, 2020. Photo: Thuy Anh / Tuoi Tre

Two COVID-19 patients (R) are released from a local general clinic in the northern province of Vinh Phuc, Vietnam, February 20, 2020. Photo: Thuy Anh / Tuoi Tre

With the three latest hospital discharges, all but one of the 16 people who have been treated for COVID-19 in Vietnam have fully recovered.

The remaining patient, who was only confirmed to be infected on February 13, is still receiving treatment at the Vinh Phuc clinic and showing positive progress, Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper reported on Friday morning.

Vietnam has reported no new case of COVID-19 infection since Thursday last week.

The country was lauded by the WHO for having responded well to the COVID-19 epidemic in a statement released by the organization recently.

While the U.N. health agency spoke highly of Vietnam’s ability to address urgent public health issues, it also urged the Southeast Asian country to stay on high alert and be ready to respond should more infections be detected.

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