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Vietnamese man returning from Malaysia goes down with COVID-19

Monday, March 16, 2020, 21:39 GMT+7
Vietnamese man returning from Malaysia goes down with COVID-19
Healthcare staff check health declaration forms of passengers at Tan Son Nhat Interntional Airport in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Gia Tien / Tuoi Tre

Vietnam confirmed on Monday night that a man returning from Malaysia had caught the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19), adding to a list of 60 already positive cases in the country.

The new patient is 42 years old, residing in Thuan Nam District, Ninh Thuan Province, located in south-central Vietnam, the Pasteur Institute in Nha Trang, which is the capital of south-central Khanh Hoa Province, said at 8:30 pm on Monday.

The Ninh Thuan Center for Disease Control had sent his sample to the Pasteur Institute in Nha Trang for diagnostic confirmation.

He left Vietnam for Malaysia on February 27 and landed at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City on board flight VJ826 on March 4.

The man came back to his hometown in Ninh Thuan and began to have a sore throat and fever on March 10.

He was admitted to the Ninh Thuan General Hospital on Sunday. He is being treated in the ward for tropical diseases.

Vietnam has announced 61 COVID-19 cases to date, 16 of whom had fully recovered and been discharged from the hospital by February 26.

Patient No. 17 was confirmed in Hanoi on March 6 after the country had reported no new infection in three weeks.

Among the 45 active cases being treated, 18 are foreigners, including 13 Britons and one each from Ireland, Germany, the Czech Republic, Latvia, and France.

Vietnam treats local patients for free while charging foreigners for their treatment, though sparing them testing and quarantine fees.  

The country has closed schools nationwide while shuttering bars, pubs, clubs, massage parlors, and karaoke parlors in major cities to delay the spread of the new coronavirus.

It has also required that people wear face masks when using public transportation or visiting crowded places like airports, bus stations, train stations, and supermarkets.

Vietnam presently bans arrivals from the Schengen Area and UK, suspending visas on arrival for all foreigners and demanding anyone entering the Southeast Asian nation from places hard hit by the virus be quarantined.

The novel coronavirus, which first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019, has infected over 170,200 people and killed more than 6,500 globally as of Monday evening, according to Ministry of Health statistics.

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