Vietnam confirms ninth case of nCoV infection

Tuesday, 2020-02-04 09:38:52
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Hanoians given free face masks at Hanoi Railway Station to cope with nCoV spreading. (Photo: NDO/Dang Anh)
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NDO – A man in the northern province of Vinh Phuc has tested positive for the novel coronavirus (nCoV), marking the 9th confirmed case in Vietnam so far, the Ministry of Health (MoH) announced on February 4.

>>> Successful treatment for nCoV patient in Thanh Hoa

>>> Eighth nCoV case confirmed in Vietnam returns from China’s Wuhan

The 30-year-old, residing in Minh Quang Commune, Tam Dao District, is among a group of eight workers from Japan-invested Nihon Plast Co., Ltd. undergoing a training course in China’s Wuhan City, the point of origin and centre of the nCoV epidemic. He returned to Vietnam on January 17 on a China Southern flight, the same flight as his group, in which four others previously tested positive for the novel virus.

He is being isolated and receiving treatment at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Dong Anh District, Hanoi, and is now in stable condition.

Thus far, Vietnam has recorded nine positive cases for nCoV, including the five above-mentioned workers with the other cases being two Chinese nationals (a man and his son, with one already having recovered), a Vietnamese hotel receptionist who had contact with the Chinese duo, and a US citizen that transited Wuhan on his flight to Vietnam. However, two among the infected have officially been declared negative following isolated treatment.

In addition to a female nCoV patient was discharged from hospital in the central province of Thanh Hoa yesterday after successful treatment, Li Zichao - one of the first two Chinese nationals that tested positive for nCoV being treated at Cho Ray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City - was also discharged on Tuesday morning.

Assoc. Prof., Dr. Luong Ngoc Khue, Director of the MoH’s Administration of Medical Examination and Treatment, said that Li, 28, is the son of the Chinese father infected with the corona virus. They are the first nCoV infections discovered in Vietnam.

Li Zichao (far left), one of the first two Chinese patients infected with nCoV to be treated at Cho Ray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, is discharged from the hospital on Tuesday morning, February 4, 2020. (Photo: NDO/Lam Ngoc)

The patient was treated with an antipyretic drug in an isolated room being kept open wide to create a natural airflow and high temperature with sunshine. Li gargled antiseptic solution to reduce the life of corona virus. To date, the Ho Chi Minh City Pasteur Institute has completed testing the deadly virus for the patient three times. All three samples tested are negative, showing that the patient is completely healthy, without any nCoV symptoms suspected and was discharged from the hospital this morning.

Information from Cho Ray Hospital said that Li’s father, Li Ding, 66, is still in treatment at the hospital. His first medical sample test gave a negative result for nCoV. Dr. Khue said that the patient's health has improved well without any sign of fever for six days and he has been back to normal activities. However, Li should be monitored further for other symptoms of nCoV infection because the patient has many complex background diseases, including type II diabetes, surgery for a right lung tumour and a stent-treated coronary artery disease.

According to the MoH, the deadly virus originating from Wuhan, China, has now spread to other 26 countries and territories worldwide, with 19,843 confirmed cases and 426 deaths as of 6 am this morning.

To cope with the spread of nCoV, the National Steering Committee for nCoV Prevention and Control held a meeting in Hanoi on February 3 under the chair of Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, who is also the head of the Steering Committee, to discuss nCoV preventive measures.

The National Steering Committee against nCoV met in Hanoi on February 3, 2020, to discuss measures to prevent the virus from spreading in Vietnam. (Photo: VGP)

The Steering Committee members agreed that the situation regarding the disease is still complicated in China and could spread to many countries. For every Vietnamese citizen, the most effective way to proactively prevent and control nCoV at this time is to strictly follow the recommendations of the health sector about using face masks, maintaining personal hygiene and avoiding gathering and contact in crowded places. As for the concerned authorities, the strongest measure now is to strictly control those who enter Vietnam from the epidemic areas, while organising isolated zoning and quarantine for suspected infections and implementing effective solutions to prevent the epidemic from spreading to the community.

In a related development, against the complex nCoV situation, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc issued a guiding document on Monday afternoon, asking for isolation for all entry cases, including foreigners, who have come from or passed through any of the 31 provinces and cities of China within the past 14 days.

The PM requested strict implementation of isolation measures, as well as detoxification and disinfection for families and accommodation establishments adjacent to isolated facilities or where patients are isolated. The PM also asked the MoH to thoroughly zone and wipe out epidemic outbreaks right at the site of infected or suspected nCoV cases. For those coming from or having travelled through Hubei Province, China, within the last 14 days, they must be treated as infection cases.

Thanh Thuy International Border Gate in Ha Giang Province temporarily suspends import and export activities. (Photo: NDO)

At a meeting on the nCoV prevention and control on February 3, Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan underlined the need to build field hospitals in response to the nCoV spread. He asked relevant sides to consider the locations and sizes of such hospitals, expected to be located in Cu Chi and Nha Be Districts, to match the disease situation and ensure their efficient operation.

The HCM Municipal Department of Health said by the end of February 3, the city had recorded three nCoV cases, 12 tested negative for the virus, and 15 were put under health quarantine as they had had close contact with the infected people. Nhan asked local authorities to promptly carry out solutions to contain the virus spread, including temporarily isolating people from nCoV-affected areas and increasing communications to raise public awareness of disease prevention.

The same day, Hanoi authorities also hosted a meeting to discuss the nCoV prevention and control. So far, Hanoi has not recorded any nCoV infections. Among the 29 suspected cases, 27 have tested negative for the virus and the other two have been isolated and are being monitored.

At the meeting, Chairman of the Hanoi Municipal People's Committee Nguyen Duc Chung directed that from February 4, Hanoi will continue to implement disinfecting measures at public agencies, hospitals and public places, which is considered the most effective measure to avoid cross-contamination. As the risk of nCoV spreading is very high, it is necessary to increase communications and ban wildlife trading businesses in the city.

On February 3, a hospital specifically designated for the handling of suspected cases of nCoV was put into operation in Mong Cai City, in the northern border province of Quang Ninh. The city plans to carry out detoxification and disinfection throughout the city.

On the same day, a delegation from the MoH led by Deputy Minister Truong Quoc Cuong inspected the production of equipment for nCoV prevention and control in a number of production units in Hanoi. MoH leaders said that at present, the Ministry of Industry and Trade is contacting South Africa, Egypt and India to find raw materials to meet the needs for domestic production.

A mission from the Ministry of Health inspects the production and supply of medical masks in Hanoi on February 3, 2020. (Photo: NDO/Hai Ngo)

Against the complex situation of nCoV spreading, hundreds of thousands of medical masks have been distributed free of charge to people and tourist in crowded places across the nation. The local authorities and businesses have also donated face masks to Chinese localities bordering Vietnam.

On February 3, the Ministry of Education and Training sent an official dispatch to the local Departments of Education and Training, schools and affiliated units to guide students to leave school to prevent the nCoV spread, as well as proposing preventive measures for them during the temporary leave against the epidemic. As of 8 am on February 4, 54 provinces and cities have decided to leave students out of school. Most localities let students of pre-school and high-school levels leave school until February 9.

A school being disinfected in Bien Hoa City, Dong Nai Province. (Photo: NDO)