UK Foreign Secretary thanks Vietnam for treating British COVID-19 patients

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on July 13 thanked Vietnamese authorities and doctors for their dedication in supporting and treating British citizens infected with the novel coronavirus.
July 14, 2020 | 06:15
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UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab (Photo: Reuters)

During a phone talk with Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, Raab congratulated Vietnam on its success in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said the UK has included Vietnamese citizens in the list of people who are exempt from quarantine when entering the country.

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Vietnamese citizens are exempt from quarantine when entering the UK. (Photo: VNA)

Patient 91, the British pilot infected with the coronavirus in February, was discharged HCM City to Hanoi on the evening of July 11, and then took another flight to the UK at midnight the same day. Three Vietnamese doctors accompanied Cameron throughout the trip, Nhan Dan reported.

The 43-year-old patient, Stephen Cameron, was the most critical patient in Vietnam, who underwent the longest treatment in the country with 65 days of curing at Ho Chi Minh City Hospital for Tropical Diseases and 51 days of intensive care and rehabilitation at Cho Ray Hospital. He was considered the "unprecedented case ever in Vietnam” and he was Vietnam’s last patient in the ICU.

To keep his alive, the Vietnam Ministry of Health had gone all out, mobilizing all leading experts in the fields of infection, respiration, resuscitation, hematology, rehabilitation, among others. Apart from many national-level consultations, the medics almost made supreme efforts and resources to save the patient "from the hand of the Dead".

The Foreign Secretary stressed the UK considers Vietnam an important partner in its foreign policy in Asia-Pacific and Southeast Asia, and wished to deepen the strategic partnership between the two countries in all fields, as well as increate bilateral agreements to maintain the momentum of the bilateral ties, particularly in economy and trade, as the UK leaves the European Union.

Speaking highly of Vietnam’s efforts as ASEAN Chair and non-permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC), Raab pledged that the UK will continue to closely cooperate and coordinate with the country in multilateral frameworks, the UNSC and other multilateral forums.

He also affirmed the UK’s support for the maintenance of peace, security and stability in the East Sea, as well as the observance of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS).

Raab expressed his hope for stronger ASEAN-UK ties, and called on Vietnam to back the cooperation.

In this regard, Minh said as the ASEAN Chair, Vietnam would support external partners, including the UK, to step up cooperation with the grouping and applaud contributions to peace, cooperation and the observance of international law in the region and the world.

During the phone call, the two sides expressed their delight at the strong development of the Vietnam-UK strategic partnership over the past decade. They shared the view that the two countries still boast great potential to step up their cooperation, and believed that the bilateral ties will be expanded and enhanced in the time ahead.

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Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (Photo: Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Minh said the two countries should increase exchanges and maintain cooperation mechanisms, including the strategic dialogue at the deputy ministerial level, towards the signing of the Vietnam-UK free trade agreement.

He appreciated the UK’s efforts and initiatives in promoting international cooperation in the COVID-19 combat, saying Vietnam is willing to closely coordinate with the country in these efforts.

The official also proposed the two countries continue with their mutual support in citizen protection, and emphasised that Vietnam facilitates the entry of foreign investors, experts, managers and labourers, including those from the UK./.

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