Two hospitals in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City on Monday announced that 30 patients of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), are now clear of the pathogen, including patient No. 17 who was believed to kick off the second wave of infections in Vietnam.
Twenty-seven of the patients were discharged from the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases while the other three walked out of a field hospital in Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City.
The 30 patients will self-isolate at home for 14 days in accordance with the Ministry of Health’s regulations.
The National Hospital for Tropical Diseases is still treating 53 COVID-19 patients.
The country’s active cases currently stand at 139.
The Ministry of Health said on March 6 that 26-year-old N.H.N. had tested positive for the virus, becoming Vietnam’s patient No. 17.
Vietnam’s first batch of 16 patients had been discharged from the hospital by February 26 and the country recorded no new infection between February 13 and March 5.
Patient No. 17 had traveled to Italy, France, and the United Kingdom before returning to Hanoi on flight VN0054, operated by national carrier Vietnam Airlines, on March 2.
She was believed to conceal her history of travel to virus-hit regions in Europe to dodge quarantine when carrying out immigration procedures at the aiport.
Many other patients have been traced to this flight, mostly foreigners.
Patient No. 17’s aunt and chaffeur were also sickened by the virus after coming into close contact with her.
Four critically ill patients, including the aunt and a 69-year-old Briton, have been showing positive signs, Luong Ngoc Khue, a senior official from a national committee on COVID-19 prevention, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
The British patient has pre-existing conditions but he stands a good chance of initial recovery, Khue added.
Vietnam has confirmed 194 COVID-19 cases so far, 55 of them having been pronounced fully recovered.
The country is ramping up its battle against the novel coronavirus by banning mass gatherings and requiring citizens to avoid going out, unless under really necessary circumstances, and to wear face masks whenever outdoors.
It has closed non-essential services like bars, pubs, clubs, massage parlors, kaorake lounges, cinemas, tourist sites, and online game centers, among others.
The central government has ordered restaurants in major cities like Hanoi, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City, and Can Tho City to offer takeaways and deliveries while telling diners in the other provinces to serve no more than 10 customers at a time.
Inbound and domestic flights have been restricted, with foreigners denied entry.
Vietnam says it will by all means keep the patient count under 1,000 for as long as possible.