Vietnam confident in treating nCoV infections successfully: health official

Thursday, 2020-02-06 10:09:13
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The medical declaration area at Van Don International Airport in Van Don District, Quang Ninh Province. (Photo: NDO)
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NDO – Vietnam's treatment regimen for the acute respiratory disease caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus (nCoV) is asymptotic to countries worldwide as Vietnam has successfully treated three cases of nCoV infections in the country, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long stated.

At a press conference held in Hanoi on February 5, Long informed that the implementation of the directions from the Secretariat and the Prime Minister, the concerned authorities and local governments have focused on deploying synchronous solutions in the prevention and control of nCoV, in which, restricting and quarantining people who return to Vietnam from areas where the virus is most prevalent is one of the most important measures to control the disease from entering Vietnam.

By 7:30 am this morning, according to a report from the Ministry of Health (MoH)'s infectious disease surveillance system, there have been 28,276 confirmed cases nCoV infection across the world and the number of deaths has increased to 565. Vietnam has recorded 10 infected cases of which three patients were cured and successfully discharged from hospital.

Deputy Minister Long said that there is currently no preventive and specific treatment for corona virus. Current treatments are based on the principle of symptomatic treatment, featuring antipyretic, ensuring nutrition and electrolyte balance, while closely monitoring problems related to blood oxygen saturation (breathing).

Out of the 10 infection cases in Vietnam, the majority of patients have only been provided with symptomatic treatments. The only patient who has been provided with oxygen (without mechanical ventilation) is a 66 year old Chinese person, one of the first two cases detected in Vietnam and he has recovered well. The three previous successful hospital discharge cases were treated with simple but effective methods, Long said.

Free face masks being distributed to workers at Sa Giang Import Export JSC in Sa Dec City, Dong Thap Province. (Photo: NDO)

According to the Director of MoH’s Administration of Medical Examination and Treatment, Luong Ngoc Khue, most cases of nCoV infection in Vietnam are young and have no underlying diseases or health issues. Only the 66 year old Chinese national patient is suffering from underlying hypertension, type 2 diabetes and weak breathing, but after undergoing treatment from January 22, the patient is almost fully recovered, without the support of mechanical ventilation.

Experience shows that, if applying the right treatment regimen and isolation following the guidelines of the MoH, nCoV can be treated effectively, Khue said, adding that his unit is requesting Cho Ray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City and the health departments of Khanh Hoa and Thanh Hoa Provinces to send their medical records of successful treatments and recoveries to patients were infected with nCoV to the MoH’s Technical Council to update and disseminate the treatment regimen for other health units across the nation.

Another notable achievement is so far there has been no cross-infection in hospitals across Vietnam. The combination of the diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases has made the treatment more effective, Khue affirmed.

Deputy Minister Long said that, currently, the MoH offers strict prophylaxis treatment regimens at health facilities. With isolated cases, doctors have applied new treatments, opening the door for better ventilation. These methods come from the experience and lessons learned from the previous SARS epidemic when Vietnam was successful in treating infections by opening all windows in isolated rooms, accompanied with treating symptoms and closely monitoring and setting up isolation rooms with buffers.

Thailand and China have taken measures to use anti-HIV drugs to successfully treat nCoV and Vietnam is also willing to test this regimen, Long said, adding that the country has been in contacted with international organisations to be fully prepared to support Vietnam in giving out the suitable medicine for this kind of treatment.

In the face of the complicated nCoV outbreak, the MoH has instructed 22 end-line hospitals to be prepared to reserve 3,000 beds for treatment, while preparing all necessary equipment and updating to the new treatment plan after being learning from the experience of the successfully cured cases in Vietnam. 40 emergency teams have also been set up to support local levels, and provide professional training and direct the testing of suspected nCoV patients’ samples.

On Wednesday evening, the Government Office held a regular press conference under the chairing of Minister-Chairman of the Government Office, Mai Tien Dung. At the conference, a representative from the Ministry of Education and Training affirmed that giving students a leave of absence to prevent and control the spread of nCoV was to put students' health as the number one priority. Currently, all 63 provinces and cities have decided to gives a students a leave of absence.

Vo Nguyen Giap Gifted High School in Quang Binh Province sprayed with disinfectant chemicals. (Photo: NDO/Huong Giang)

Hai Phong City has requisitioned the unused area at the Facility 2 of the Viet Tiep Friendship Hospital as a concentrated medical isolation centre for people at risk of nCoV infection. Hai Phong Department of Health has also established a hotline and a list of three hospitals with infectious departments assigned to accept suspected nCoV-infected patients. The Hai Phong Maritime Port Authority required all ships sailing from Chinese ports to Hai Phong to undergo medical quarantine procedures at the Hon Dau anchorage in Do Son District.

Hai Phong City authorities inspect disease prevention at Viet Tiep Friendship Hospital’s second base. (Photo: NDO/Ngo Quang Dung)

The Dien Bien Provincial Military Command has instructed relevant units to prepare conditions for receiving, quarantining and monitoring both Vietnamese and foreign workers returning to Dien Bien from China for 14 days.

The Nghe An Provincial Military Command has prepared conditions to receive nearly 400 Vietnamese returning from China and other foreign countries where the epidemic has spread already. They will be isolated for at least 14 days.

Thua Thien - Hue Province has also isolated 28 Vietnamese people at home who had recently returned from China. At Hue Central Hospital, three people are being isolated, including a Dutch tourist. The Provincial Military Command is implementing the reception of 250 Vietnamese citizens returning from China and other countries affected by nCoV. They will be taken to isolation at the Military School of Thua Thien - Hue Province in Thuy Bang Commune, Huong Thuy Town.

Thua Thien - Hue Province’s authorities inspect the epidemic surveillance and prevention techniques at local relic sites. (Photo: NDO/Cong Hau)

On the morning of February 5, the Department of Health of Dak Lak Province said that the province has conducted surveillance and isolation at health facilities for 13 suspected cases of nCoV infection. The Dak Lak Centre for Disease Control established seven mobile teams and a hotline at 0262.2460701 to receive information regarding the disease.

On February 5, the National Traffic Safety Committee submitted a request to relevant agencies and localities to suggest to people to consider avoiding unnecessary trips and not travelling to areas where the disease has spread already without protective equipment. Transport enterprises, drivers and service personnel shall provide personal protection, keep sanitation at airports, railway stations, bus stations and wharves with regular disinfection procedures.

Officers and soldiers at Trung Binh Border Guard Station under the Soc Trang Provincial Border Guard Command provide information on disease prevention and control for locals. (Photo: NDO/Thanh Phong)

The Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam announced that it has asked its relevant authorities to grant licenses to a number of flights to bring Vietnamese citizens in China and Chinese citizens in Vietnam back to their respective countries. The granting of the licenses is to implement the directive by the Prime Minister at a meeting on February 4. For the flights to bring the Chinese in Vietnam back to China, those on the return leg will be empty.

Meanwhile, those that will bring the Vietnamese in China back to Vietnam will land at one of the three designated airports, with the first priority being the Van Don in Quang Ninh Province, followed by the Can Tho in the Mekong Delta city of the same name and the Phu Cat in the central province of Binh Dinh.

Besides that, the administration will also grant licenses to a number of special all-cargo flights between Vietnam and China. All the planes, equipment, passengers and staff are subject to sterilisation procedures against the acute respiratory disease caused by the novel corona virus.

Disinfecting a Vietnam Airlines plane. (Photo: NDO)

To ensure the safety of passengers and crew, Vietnam Airlines (VNA) will strictly disinfect all aircraft from mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau (China) and Bangkok (Thailand) to Vietnam. VNA adjusted the cabin temperature to 26C, maintaining it on all flights. From February 6, VNA temporarily stopped operating routes between Hanoi and Macau, Hong Kong, while Vietnam - Taiwan and Ho Chi Minh City - Hong Kong routes are still operating as normal.