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First doctor infected with novel coronavirus, cases mount to 116 in Vietnam

Monday, March 23, 2020, 12:30 GMT+7
First doctor infected with novel coronavirus, cases mount to 116 in Vietnam
Passengers declare their health status at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, March 18, 2020. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Three patients of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), including a medical doctor, were confirmed on Monday morning, as Vietnam's Ministry of Health announced the country’s tally had ascended to 116.

The doctor followed in the footsteps of two nurses in Hanoi who were diagnosed with COVID-19 last week.

Patient No. 114 is a 19-year-old overseas Vietnamese student returning from the Netherlands on March 15 on board flight SQ176, which transited Singapore.

The Hanoi resident was screened upon entry into Vietnam but his test returned negative. He was thus sent to a quarantine zone in Son Tay Town, Hanoi.

He suffered a fever and sore throat on March 19 so the patient was admitted to the second branch of the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Dong Anh, a rural district of Hanoi, for isolation.

His test returned positve for the virus at the hospital on Saturday and the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology confirmed the result later.

He is being treated and quarantined in stable health at the Dong Anh branch of the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases.

Patient No. 115 lives in the Czech Republic. The 44-year-old Vietnamese patient is patient No. 94’s daughter and traveled on seat 28C with four of her family members on flight SU290 from the European country to Vietnam.

Her flight, carrying patient No. 93 on seat 27B and patient No. 94 on seat 28A, landed at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on March 18.

She tested negative upon entry and was transferred alongside patient No. 94 to a collective isolation zone in Bac Giang Province, about 50 kilometers east of Hanoi.

The Dong Anh branch of the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases diagnosed her on March 20 and the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology then confirmed it.

She is being treated and quarantined at the hospital in stable health.

Patient No. 116 is a 29-year-old doctor in the emergency care ward of the Dong Anh branch of the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases.

He has joined the national fight against COVID-19 since January 31, screening suspected cases, treating infected patients, and providing emergency care for some critically ill people.

He wore protective suits at work and stayed in isolation areas for health workers at the hospital after work.

He started having a sore throat on March 19 and began coughing and suffering muscle pain together with a fever one day later.

He self-isolated in the ‘buffer zone’ of the emergency care ward on Saturday and his test returned positive the same day. He is the first medical doctor to be infected with the virus in Vietnam.

Those health workers who worked with him are being monitored. Their first tests came back negative on Saturday.

Patient No. 116 is being treated and quarantined at the hospital in stable health.

Two nurses went down with COVID-19 on Friday last week.

The two work at Bach Mai Hospital in the capital, according to a report by the Ministry of Health.

They are the first health workers to be infected with the virus in Vietnam.

Vietnam has confirmed 116 COVID-19 patients, with 17 having been discharged from the hospital.

The country 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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