Vietnam has gradually developed an effective treatment plan for coronavirus patients with 15 out of 16 infected cases successfully treated, the Ministry of Health has said.
Speaking at a conference on February 9, Dr Luong Ngoc Khue, Director of the ministry’s Department of Medical Examination and Treatment and deputy head of the sub-committee on treatment at the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, said although there is no specific drugs that kills the virus, the treatment regime applied has proved to be working.
Among those successfully, many have been reported underlying diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and lung cancer.
By February 19, nine have been discharged from hospitals. The remaining patients are in good health and will be discharged in the coming days, he said.
Khue said since the early days of the epidemic, the health sector had immediately convened the professional council with leading professors to develop and update guidelines for early treatment.
These guidelines have been implemented at hospitals and health clinics nationwide. After the first three patients were discharged from HCM City’s Cho Ray Hospital, Khanh Hoa Tropical Hospital in the central province of Khanh Hoa and Thanh Hoa province General Hospital in Thanh Hoa province, the committee continued to adjust their treatment regimen.
Specific treatment steps, including initial reception instructions, quarantine, drug usage and emergency equipment for critically-ill patients have been updated to deal with the epidemic.
No new infected cases have been reported in Vietnam since February 13. Among the 16 people that tested positive, none have become severely ill and no fatalities will be reported, he said.
On February 18, the last two patients at the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases – the frontline hospital offering the COVID-19 treatment in the north – and two patients at the district-level health clinic in the northern province of Vinh Phuc, which recorded the most infections, were discharged from hospital.
The Vietnamese-American patient at HCM City’s Tropical Diseases Hospital has tested negative twice. The three-month-old baby at Hanoi-based National Children’s Hospital is also negative.
They are both in good health, will continue the treatment and soon be discharged from hospital.
The committee has asked relevant units, health experts and scientists to keep synthesising data on epidemiology, clinical treatment and treatment results to complete the treatment regime.
At the conference, the committee also discussed and agreed on a number of issues on receiving foreign workers returning to Vietnam to work, issues on border control and immigration control to promote socio-economic activities.
In addition, the committee has asked relevant agencies to closely monitor and complete the procedures to announce the end of the epidemic in Khanh Hoa and Thanh Hoa provinces.
Vietnam has also prepared preventive measures to deal with the virus in hospitals at all levels.
Patients with symptoms not considered severe will be treated at district-level hospitals. Patients in Thanh Hoa and Khanh Hoa provinces will attend local hospitals.
Quarantine work must be divided into three areas. The first is for suspected people, the second is for those infected but in good health, and the final is for the patients with severe symptoms. All these areas must strictly follow the ministry’s criteria on biosafety and infection control.
Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, who is also head of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, praised military units for their efforts in the prevention and fight against the coronavirus at the online conference on February 19.
He stressed the military units needed to strictly control the border, organise quarantine for citizens returning from affected areas and disseminate information about the illness in the future.
Currently, Vietnam still has 34 unconfirmed cases and more than 1,530 people in close contact with people who may have the virus or those arriving from epidemic areas. All of them are under quarantine.
By February 19, there are 75,203 COVID-19 infected cases worldwide and the number of deaths reached 2,010. In China alone, 74,186 cases have been reported with 2,004 deaths.