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UK citizens among 5 new coronavirus cases in Vietnam

Sunday, March 22, 2020, 17:46 GMT+7
UK citizens among 5 new coronavirus cases in Vietnam
A COVID-19 patient is pictured being carried into a room at the Can Gio medical center in Can Gio District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health

Two Britons were confirmed to be among five new patients catching the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Vietnam on Sunday.

All five live in Ho Chi Minh City, according to the Ministry of Health.

The Southeast Asian nation’s number of COVID-19 cases has thus risen to 99.

Patient No. 95 is a 20-year-old Vietnamese student in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, who recently returned from France.

On March 17, he took flight AF258 operated by Air France from Paris, occupying seat 34J.

The flight landed at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City on March 18.

Upon entry, he had a sore throat, no fever, and no shortness of breath so he was taken to a collective quarantine camp in District 12.

His sample returned positive for the virus at the Pasteur Insitute in Ho Chi Minh City and the patient was transferred to a makeshift hospital in Cu Chi District.

Patient No. 96 is a 21-year-old woman living in District 8, Ho Chi Minh City.

During the two weeks before she arrived in Vietnam, the patient had traveled to Belgium, Germany, the Czech Republic, and France.

She sat on seat 30E aboard the Emirates flight EK392 from France, with transit time in Dubai, which touched down at Tan Son Nhat on Thursday.

She was sent to a centralized quarantine camp in the dorm of the Vietnam National University-Ho Chi Minh City in Thu Duc District for screening on Friday.

She was found having a fever and cough and was admitted to the Ho Chi Minh City Hospital for Tropical Diseases for testing, isolation, and treatment.

The hospital diagnosed her with COVID-19 on Saturday and the Pasteur Institute then confirmed the diagnosis.

Patient No. 97 is a 34-year-old English teacher in District 4, Ho Chi Minh City.

He stayed in Malaysia for two weeks before returning to Vietnam.

On March 13, the Briton departed Penang, Malaysia on the AirAsia flight AK1502 and reached Tan Son Nhat the same day.

One day later, he came to Buddha Bar&Grill at No. 7 Thao Dien Street in Thao Dien Ward, District 2, where a COVID-19-positive pilot visited the same day.

He called on FV Saigon Clinic in District 1 on Friday after hearing of the pilot testing positive for the virus.

She was immediately transferred to the Ho Chi Minh City Hospital for Tropical Diseases for testing, isolation, and treatment even though she was asymptomatic.

Her test returned positive on Saturday and the Pasteur Institute later confirmed the test.

Patient No. 98 is also a 34-year-old English teacher and the roommate of patient No. 97.

The British patient left Penang on the AirAsia flight AK1502 and arrived at Tan Son Nhat on March 6.

He went with his roommate to Buddha Bar&Grill on March 14.

He visited FV Saigon Clinic on Friday and, though asymptomatic, was sent to the Ho Chi Minh City Hospital for Tropical Diseases for testing, isolation, and treatment.

He was diagnosed by the hospital on Saturday and then got his test confirmed by the Pasteur Institute.

Patient No. 99 is a 29-year-old Vietnamese student returnee from France.

He lives in Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City.

He boarded the Air France flight AF258 from Paris on March 17 and sat on seat 33H.

His plane landed at Tan Son Nhat on March 18.

He was asymptomatic and still brought to an isolation zone in District 12 upon entry.  

He was tested by the Pasteur Institute and got a positive result on Saturday.

Vietnam has announced 99 cases, with 17 having been discharged from the hospital by Friday.

A dozen of the remaining patients have been showing postive response to treatment, have tested negative, and waiting for hospital discharge.

Vietnam treats local patients for free while charging foreigners a fee for their treatment, though their testing and quarantine expenses are waived.

No coronavirus-related death has been recorded in the Southeast Asian country to date.

Vietnam has barred entry to all foreign nationals, including people of Vietnamese origin and their relatives who hold visa exemption documents, to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

It has required all passengers to fill out health declaration forms when traveling on long-haul buses, trains, tourist boats, and domestic flights.

The government has advised people to avoid close contact and mass gatherings, while shuttering bars, pubs, clubs, massage parlors, karaoke lounges, and online game centers in major cities to slow the virus spread.

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Viet Toan / Tuoi Tre News

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