Jul 05, 2020 / 18:08

Coronavirus-stricken UK pilot in Vietnam to return home on July 12

The Hanoitimes - After assessing the risks that may occur to Covid-19 Patient No.91 during an air trip, Vietnamese experts said that he is eligible for safe transfer.

Covid-19 Patient No.91 in Vietnam, who is a UK pilot, will be able to return home on a July 12 flight, the Government Portal quoted Dr. Luong Ngoc Khue, head of the Medical Examination and Treatment Department under the Ministry of Health, as saying at a national consultation on July 3.

The consultation, chaired by Dr. Luong Ngoc Khue, was conducted to assess the patient’s health status and find solutions to ensure his safety on a trip back to the UK. This was the sixth national consultation held exclusively to discuss the patient's situation.

 Dr. Luong Ngoc Khue and Dr. Nguyen Gia Binh visit Patient 91. Photo: Le Hao

The patient now can communicate well and is able to move his body, lift his limbs on his own, practice saying some Vietnamese words.

He has slept well and could take 20 breaths per minute. He can also walk with the help of a walker.

After assessing the risks that may occur during an air trip, respiratory experts said that he is eligible for safe transfer.

According to Dr. Nguyen Gia Binh, president of the Emergency Resuscitation Association, he should be considered a normal patient. The Briton has been certified as coronavirus free.

Nguyen Huy Quang, director of the Legal Department under the Ministry of Health, also said that Patient 91 has tested negative for Covid-19, his repatriation to the UK will be in compliance with British law.

Concluding the consultation, Dr. Luong Ngoc Khue emphasized the patient can leave on July 12, adding that he needs to keep exercising and rehabilitating to ensure his normal activities when traveling by air.

The 43-year-old Scot arrived in Vietnam from Britain in early March to work for Vietnam Airlines, the national flag carrier. He was one of 19 people who were infected with the virus when visiting a bar in Ho Chi Minh City on March 13.

On March 17, he piloted his first flight for Vietnam Airlines to the capital city of Hanoi. Three days later, he was hospitalized with Covid-19 symptoms.

By early April, the patient was on a ventilator and life support machine at Ho Chi Minh City’s Hospital of Tropical Diseases. In May, medical officials said the disease had reduced his lung capacity to 10% and that he urgently needed a lung transplant.

Weeks later, however, Patient 91 regained consciousness after his condition began to improve. He was unplugged of life support and no longer needs a lung transplant, said Luong Ngoc Khue.