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British embassy wants to repatriate COVID-19 patient in July

Sunday, June 28, 2020, 17:18 GMT+7
British embassy wants to repatriate COVID-19 patient in July
Vietnam’s novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patient No. 91 is treated at Cho Ray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

The British Embassy in Hanoi has proposed that a 43-year-old British pilot, Vietnam’s most seriously ill novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patient, be brought back to his home country on July 12, as his health has greatly improved over the past weeks.

The proposal was sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and National Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control on Saturday.

In the document, the British Embassy thanked Vietnamese doctors for treating the Briton and asked them to make an evaluation on whether the patient is healthy enough to return to his home country in Scotland.

The patient will be accompanied by a team of health workers, the embassy stated, adding that all travel expenses will be covered by his insurance company.

The recommended date is July 12.

The Briton will travel on a flight operated by national carrier Vietnam Airlines.

The flight is scheduled to bring stranded Vietnamese citizens from the UK to Hanoi, before transporting the British patient, along with several health workers, to his home country.

On Saturday, doctors at Cho Ray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City were still focusing on restoring the patient’s respiratory and physical functions.

He is now able to practice walking small steps without a walker.

The 43-year-old man, a Vietnam Airlines pilot, was confirmed as the country’s COVID-19 patient No. 91 following his diagnosis in mid-March.

He was admitted to the Ho Chi Minh City Hospital for Tropical Diseases on March 18 with damaged lungs.

His conditions deteriorated shortly after that, putting him in a coma and his life in jeopardy a few times.

Doctors once thought only a lung transplant would save him from death.

But medication and other medical care gradually improved his health in the following weeks.

The Scotsman was transferred to the intensive care unit at Cho Ray Hospital on May 22, still comatose and with severely damaged lungs, after being cleared of the coronavirus following his treatment at the Ho Chi Minh City Hospital for Tropical Diseases.

On June 3, doctors gave the green light to disconnect the patient from ECMO life support he had been on for nearly 60 days.

He was taken off his ventilator on June 13, and stopped taking antibiotics used to treat other bacterial infections on June 15.

A CT scan showed that nearly 90 percent of his lung capacity had recovered.

The patient was transferred from the intensive care ward to the physical rehabilitation unit of Cho Ray Hospital on June 21.

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