A British pilot who has been hospitalized in Vietnam since contracting novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in March has made further improvements and could be taken off a ventilator soon as the country announced three new recoveries on Wednesday afternoon.
The man, who is identified as Vietnam’s 91st COVID-19 patient, has remained conscious after doctors disconnected him from extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) last week.
He is able to type on his phone and remembers the unlock PINs of his mobile phone and tablet, according to an update published by the verified Facebook page of the Vietnamese government on late Wednesday afternoon.
However, his legs remain weak and still cannot support his body.
The patient is responding to antibiotics and antifungal medication, with milder fevers reported in the 24 hours ending 6:00 pm Wednesday.
The patient’s lungs have improved greatly although his respiratory muscles are still weak.
The Briton is no longer reliant on intravenous feeding and is able to eat a liter of liquid food a day.
His renal function has been recovering since May 27 and he has been off dialysis for two weeks, while his heart and liver are also functioning well.
Doctors have occasionally disconnected him from his ventilator to help him practice intermittent breathing and are giving him physical therapy twice a day.
His ventilator is set on pressure support ventilation (PSV) mode to prepare him for ventilator withdrawal.
Previously, the man had been able to smile while interacting with health workers on June 4. It was reported on Monday that he was able to sit up, swing his legs, and write on his own.
The 43-year-old Briton, a Vietnam Airlines pilot, was diagnosed with COVID-19 in mid-March.
On May 22, he was transferred to Cho Ray Hospital from the Ho Chi Minh City Hospital for Tropical Diseases after being declared free of the disease.
Wednesday was the 55th day of no COVID-19 infection found in the community in Vietnam.
The country discharged three recovered Vietnamese patients on the same day, including patient No. 290 and patient No. 319 from the National Hospital for Tropical Disease in Hanoi and patient No. 321 from a field hospital in Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City, raising the total number of recoveries to 320.
The national tally stands at 332 cases, including 192 imported cases who were immediately quarantined upon arrival.
Four of the 12 active patients have tested negative for the virus at least once.
Up to 9,140 people are under quarantine due to having been in close contact with COVID-19 patients or having returned from foreign countries and territories.
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