Another COVID-19 patient has retested positive for the new coronavirus that causes the respiratory disease following her recovery in Ho Chi Minh City, raising the total number of relapses in Vietnam to nine.
The steering committee for COVID-19 prevention and control in the southern metropolis confirmed on Tuesday evening that patient No. 151, a 45-year-old Brazilian woman living in District 2, had suffered a relapse after a recovery from COVID-19 on April 18.
This is the third relapse case in Ho Chi Minh City and the ninth in the country so far.
Her husband, a 49-year-old Brazilian man and Vietnam’s patient No. 207, previously retested positive for the virus on Monday, following his hospital discharge on April 18.
The couple were both brought to a makeshift hospital for COVID-19 treatment in outlying Cu Chi District for quarantine and further monitoring on Monday.
Patient No. 151 tested negative for the novel coronavirus on Monday, but a second test came back positive on Tuesday.
The Ministry of Health has recently ordered hospitals in the country to treat all relapse cases similarly to how they would approach a fresh COVID-19 case.
All COVID-19 patients who have finished their treatment in Vietnam are to undergo a 14-day quarantine period at local infirmaries or medical centers.
They can also opt to self-quarantine at home if meeting certain requirements set by local health authorities.
During this isolation period, the recovered patients are tested at least twice on the seventh and 14th days.
Aside from the Real-time PCR (Polymerase chain reaction) screening technique, the health ministry has recommended that antibody tests be performed on recovered patients to assess their immune response.
The novel coronavirus, which first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019, has infected over 3.13 million people and killed more than 217,900 globally, according to Ministry of Health statistics.
Vietnam has confirmed 270 cases so far, with 221 having recovered.
No death from the disease has been recorded in the country.
Ho Chi Minh City has recorded 54 patients, of whom 50 have recovered.
Three out of four active cases in the metropolis are relapses.
The remaining patient is a 43-year-old British pilot, who is still in a critical condition and requires a ventilator and outside-body life support.
His vital signs are currently stable, according to the city’s health department.