Patients pose with doctors (top row) at the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Hanoi, March 30, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh.
Pham Ngoc Thach, director of the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi’s Dong Anh District, said all 27 people have tested negative for the new coronavirus at least twice in a row, which meets the criteria set by the Health Ministry for their discharge.
Among the released is Nguyen Hong Nhung, 26, identified as "Patient 17," the first confirmed infection in the capital city who set off a spate of other infections.
"Patient 17" was the first to start the second phase of infection in Vietnam on March 6 after the nation had gone 22 days straight without recording any new cases. She was confirmed infected four days after returning from London and spread the virus to at least four people.
A 25-year-old Vietnamese tour guide who was among the discharged said he improved physically and mentally after more than three weeks at the hospital.
"Doctors monitored us every day. There were difficult moments but I got over them," he said, thanking the medical staff.
Vietnam has so far confirmed 194 Covid-19 infections. With Monday’s discharge, the number of patients released from hospital has jumped to 52.
The National Hospital for Tropical Diseases is currently treating 60 other Covid-19 patients.
Many of the currently active cases are Vietnamese nationals returning from Europe and the U.S. and foreigners coming from the same regions.
The government decided Sunday to suspend all international flights to Vietnam and limit flights from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to other provinces and vice versa in the coming two weeks.
Starting March 22, Vietnam suspended entry for all foreign nationals, including those of Vietnamese origin and family members with visa waivers.
To date, the Covid-19 pandemic has killed more than 33,900 people as it spread to 199 countries and territories.