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British COVID-19 patient arrives in UK following treatment in Vietnam

Monday, July 13, 2020, 13:14 GMT+7
British COVID-19 patient arrives in UK following treatment in Vietnam
A British man who was Vietnam’s 91st COVID-19 patient is discharged from Cho Ray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, July 11, 2020. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

A British man who was Vietnam’s most critically ill novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patient has arrived in the UK safely following his 115-day treatment in the Southeast Asian country.

The Briton, who was Vietnam’s COVID-19 patient No. 91, landed at Heathrow Airport in London on Sunday afternoon Vietnam time, after spending 14 hours aboard a flight operated by national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines, the Vietnamese government confirmed on its verified Facebook page.

He flew business class and was accompanied by three doctors.

Following his treatment in Ho Chi Minh City, the patient was transported from the southern metropolis to Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on Saturday to board his flight home.

On the same day, Dr. Drew Posey from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sent a letter to Cho Ray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City to congratulate its doctors on successfully treating the British patient.

The 43-year-old Briton, who fell ill just days after piloting his first flight for Vietnam Airlines, was confirmed as the country’s COVID-19 patient No. 91 following his diagnosis in mid-March.

He was initially 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 help him recover. 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 the Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) life support sytem he had been on for nearly 60 days.

He was taken off his ventilator on June 13 and stopped taking antibiotics 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.

As of Monday morning, Vietnam’s COVID-19 tally was at 372, with 350 having made a recovery, according to Ministry of Health statistics.

No deaths from the disease have been recorded in the country.

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