- Vietnam has spent more than $ 200,000 fighting to save the life of a Briton infected with the new coronavirus.
- After more than 30 days of survival, man’s only hope is a lung transplant.
- Vietnam has reported only 312 cases of COVID-19 and no deaths since the start of its epidemic in late January.
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As of Friday afternoon, the new coronavirus infected more than 4.56 million people worldwide. More than 305,000 of them died from complications from COVID-19, and that number will only increase in the coming weeks. The actual number of COVID-19 cases worldwide is likely to be much higher, as many people have not been diagnosed or have no symptoms. Asymptomatic carriers are not eligible for testing in countries where the number of tests is still limited. The disease will continue to spread for some time and we may never be able to get rid of it completely.
But not all countries had to deal with a high number of cases. Several countries stand out for how they managed their local COVID-19 epidemic, one of which is Vietnam. The Asian country bordering China reported its first case in January. Since then, Vietnam’s official workload has increased to 312, and the state has reported no deaths. What is really interesting is that Vietnam has already spent $ 200,000 to keep a COVID-19 patient alive whose lungs are so severely affected by the virus that he will need a transplant.
With a population of over 95 million people, the COVID-19 workload in Vietnam appears to be a statistical anomaly compared to what we see in other similar regions. Some countries may have forgotten to correctly report the number of deaths from COVID-19 and are suspected of having hidden the true extent of the infection. One country has yet to report a single case. And another fought pneumonia of unknown origin before formalizing the true scope of his coronavirus epidemic. Things went so badly that this country experienced a strange phenomenon where some doctors found themselves dead in a few days.
But Vietnam has often appeared in the news as a success when it came to containing the virus.
Patient 91 is one of 52 patients in the country who have not yet recovered from COVID-19. The man is a 43-year-old British pilot who works for Vietnam Airlines and was diagnosed in mid-March. He is said to have caught the virus in a bar in Ho Chi Minh City. Reuters says more than 4,000 people connected to the bar group have been tested, and 18 of them have confirmed positive.
Most of them have recovered, but the unidentified British man has been on respiratory assistance for more than 30 days and his condition has deteriorated considerably. Patient 91 has only 10% of his lung capacity, and the case has been widely publicized in the country. The government has already spent $ 200,000 to keep the patient alive. Doctors tried to treat the patient’s blood clots with drugs imported from overseas, but the patient’s condition did not improve.
The health ministry held a meeting with experts from the best hospitals on Tuesday and decided that the only way to save a man’s life was to have a lung transplant. Two days later, state media reported that 10 people, including a 70-year-old military veteran, volunteered to donate lungs.
Vietnamese regulators do not allow doctors to transplant lungs donated “by most living people,” a representative from the Vietnamese National Coordinating Center for Organ Transplantation said in a local newspaper. The irony is that someone else would have to die for this patient to be saved, and even then there should be a match between the donor and the Briton.
Reuters notes that the government has received wide support for the way it has managed the coronavirus epidemic. Vietnam used aggressive testing and centralized mass quarantine to contain the epidemic. It may be propaganda that plays well locally and abroad, but Vietnam’s quest to save a single man at all costs should not go unnoticed in a world where the normal news includes daily reports detailing thousands of new deaths from COVID-19.