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British pilot, the most serious COVID-19 patient in Vietnam, on path to recovery

06:50 | 05/06/2020

Vietnam’s most gravely-ill COVID-19 patient, a British pilot who works for its national airline, has started to recover from the illness and may no longer require a lung transplant, reported Reuters on June 03. 

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A man wears protective mask as he walks past a banner promoting prevention against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: REUTERS

Vietnam has mounted an all-out effort to save the 43-year-old man, who has been identified officially by the government as "Patient 91", reported Reuters, reminding that, until recently, the Vietnam Airlines pilot was thought by doctors and officials to be in urgent need of a lung transplant.

Reuters revealed that the fate of "Patient 91" has received unprecedented national attention, with more than 50 people in Vietnam offering themselves as potential lung donors.

The man, who is being treated at a hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, can now smile, shake hands and respond to commands from hospital staff, the official Vietnam News Agency (VNA) said recently. "His reliance on artificial life support has also been reduced but he is still on a ventilator to allow his badly-damaged lungs to recover", added VNA.

british pilot the most serious covid 19 patient in vietnam on path to recovery
A medical staff in protective gear at the HCMC Hospital for Tropical Diseases, where the sign reads "Quarantine Area,". Photo: VnExpress

"He has tested negative for the coronavirus, and Vietnam has spent more than US$215,000 treating him", James Pearson, the reporter from Reuter updated.

Through aggressive testing and a mass, centralized quarantine program, Vietnam has successfully contained the spread of the novel coronavirus, putting it on course to revive its economy much sooner than most others.

Vietnam's second most serious case, "Patient 19", was discharged from the hospital recently. Of Vietnam's 328 coronavirus cases, 90 percent have recovered, and no deaths from the coronavirus reported.

43-year-old British pilot known as "Patient 91" was diagnosed on March 18 in Ho Chi Minh City and admitted to hospital. More than two months later, he is on life support and Vietnamese doctors are taking extraordinary measures to keep him alive, including more than 60 people who have volunteered as lung donors to save his life. Until now, Vietnam has spent about VND5 billion ($215,000) in this case since the patient claims he has no relatives in Vietnam.

The patient is now reportedly fully conscious, smiling, and talking to doctors at Cho Ray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City in southern Vietnam.

british pilot the most serious covid 19 patient in vietnam on path to recovery
A kind health worker is taking care of the British pilot in Cho Ray Hospital where he is being treated. Photo: vov
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Reuters on Thursday runs an article claiming “Vietnam has mounted an all-out effort to save the life of the British pilot, its most critically ill ...

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Tony Nguyen