A British pilot diagnosed with novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Ho Chi Minh City has tested positive for the virus again one day after his result came back negative, while his health condition is still critical.
The 43-year-old pilot became Vietnam’s COVID-19 patient No. 91 in March and has been treated at the Ho Chi Minh City Hospital for Tropical Diseases.
He tested negative for the novel coronavirus on Sunday, but his result came back “mildly positive” on Monday, said Dr. Nguyen Van Vinh Chau, director of the infirmary.
His condition remains critical, Chau stated, adding that the patient is still receiving outside-body life support in the form of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).
He no longer has a fever but he still suffers severe blood-clotting disorders and has high white blood cells. His lung damage has also worsened.
It is quite common that COVID-19 patients test positive again after their results have come back negative, Chau elaborated, adding further tests will be carried out on the British patient in the coming days.
Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Truong Son previously said that COVID-19 patients over 60 years old are at the highest risk.
Vietnam has 20 patients that fall into this age group out of the total 262 cases. Four of them are in bad health and need support from ventilators, while one of the four needs life support in the form of ECMO.
About 69 patients in the country, including the British pilot, are between 40 and 60 years old. Aside from the Briton, another patient in this age group now requires support from a ventilator.
Doctors have said that the British patient’s worsening conditions may be associated with his obesity.
He has a body mass index (BMI) of 30.1, which falls into the “moderately obese” category, according to the World Health Organization.
The novel coronavirus, which first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019, has infected over 1.85 million people and killed more than 114,300 globally as of Monday afternoon, according to Ministry of Health statistics.
Vietnam has confirmed 262 COVID-19 cases in total, with 145 having recovered.