|The patient is receiving treatment in an isolated ward at the HCM City Hospital for Tropical Diseases. Photo tienphong.vn|
HCM CITY — An American national was confirmed to be infected with the coronavirus on Sunday morning, bringing the total number of cases in Việt Nam to seven.
According to the Ministry of Health, the 73-year-old American Vietnamese had a two-hour transit in Wuhan, China on his China Southern Airlines flight from the US to Việt Nam on January 15. He arrived at Tân Sơn Nhất Airport in HCM City the next day and since then stayed at Triều Hân hotel in District 3.
The patient was reported to have started feeling ill on January 26, with severe coughing and breathing difficulties but without other typical symptoms of the coronavirus like a high fever and muscle aches.
Hotel staff took the man to the HCM City Hospital for Tropical Diseases on Friday. He tested positive for the Wuhan virus and was taken to an isolation room.
The city authorities asked the hotel to stop receiving new guests and thoroughly disinfect the building. All of the hotel staff and other guests would be put under quarantine until February 15.
Việt Nam on Saturday declared a state of epidemic given the number of people infected with the 2019 novel coronavirus (nCoV) was increasing day by day.
The scope of the epidemic is currently limited to three provinces – the south-central coastal province of Khánh Hoà, where a 25-year-old Vietnamese female receptionist tested positive for the virus following contact with two infected Chinese patients; the central province of Thanh Hoá and the northern province of Vĩnh Phúc, where the confirmed Vietnamese patients have all returned from Wuhan on the same China Southern Airlines flight.
Also on Saturday, the Civil Aviation Authority of Việt Nam (CAAV) announced that all permits granted for flights between Việt Nam and China (including mainland China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong and Macau) have been temporarily revoked, effective from 1:00pm Saturday until further notice.
The CAAV, however, lifted its blanket ban later on the same day, allowing airlines to restore flights to Taipei, Hong Kong and Macau as these destinations were "yet to be greatly impacted" by the new coronavirus. — VNS