Update: 20:34 | 17/07/2020
As many as 219 Vietnamese citizens, including 120 Covid-19 positive workers, will be repatriated from Equatorial Guinea in early August, according to Vietnamese authorities.
On Friday morning (July 17), the Ministry of Health announced that it is arranging a special repatriation flight, with the presence of Vietnamese doctors and nurses on board, to bring the group of Vietnamese citizens home from the African nation.
Vietnamese workers in Equatorial Guinea in a group photo sent home via social network.
Among them, 120 have been declared as positive for the coronavirus, as per the updated information the ministry has received from three companies recruiting the Vietnamese labourers to work in west Africa.
The workers and their managers have been tested by local health services using the RT-PCR technique. The youngest is 19 years old while the oldest is 68.
Among the 120 positive patients, 22 are being monitored in two hospitals, while 80 others are in isolation camps and hotels. 46 have chronic co-morbidities, such as stomach ulcers, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and bronchitis.
In addition to the 120 patients, seven others have been hospitalised to be monitored for another illnesses, including with three with malaria and one with both malaria and Covid-19.
The health ministry and the flag carrier Vietnam Airlines are discussing plans regarding the flight, as well as working closely with Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and representatives of the three companies to prepare for any medical interventions that may be necessary during the special flight.
According to the health ministry, the repatriate flight is expected to depart on August 3 due to complicated flight registration procedures. It is predicted that by the time the flight departs, the number of new positive cases may increase, while existing positive cases would recover. In the meantime, it is important to monitor the health of sick Vietnamese workers to provide timely assistance.
The ministry also announced that it has prepared a medical team featuring doctors and nurses specialised in resuscitation and emergency care to depart on the flight to Equatorial Guinea. There will be two doctors and two nurses from the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi.
Earlier, on July 10, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc ordered a repatriation flight to immediately bring back Vietnamese workers stranded in Equatorial Guinea following reports of many falling ill, with language barriers reportedly causing difficulties in both treatment and diet.
As of Friday morning, Vietnam has remained free of community transmission of the coronavirus for 92 consecutive days, as there were no new cases of infections to report this morning.
241 of the 381 confirmed patients are imported cases that were quarantined upon arrival into the country.
Up to 356 patients or 93.4% of the total have recovered from the disease.
Meanwhile, most of those still receiving treatment are in stable condition, including two who have had one negative test for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, and five others who tested negative at least twice.
There are 10,133 people who have had close contact with confirmed cases or came from pandemic-hit areas in quarantine at present.