Vietnam confirms 2 cases of SARS-like coronavirus, both China citizens

Millions of Chinese visitors annually visit Vietnam. (AP pic)

HANOI: Two Chinese nationals in Vietnam have tested positive for the SARS-like coronavirus and are being treated in hospital, officials said Thursday.

A Chinese man living in Ho Chi Minh City was infected by his father who travelled to Vietnam on Jan 13 from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus.

The father was hospitalised on Jan 17 with a high fever, days before his son showed symptoms, health officials said.

Both were quarantined and tested positive for coronavirus, a new infection that has already killed 17 people in China and infected more than 570.

“The patients have shown signs of good recovery, (their) fever has reduced and they can eat now,” Doctor Nguyen Ngoc Sang said Thursday at a meeting at Ho Chi Minh City’s Cho Ray hospital.

Vietnam’s deputy health minister urged all precautions to avoid any further spread.

“We should immediately test any suspected cases so that we can detect (the disease) quicker. We don’t want it to spread to the public,” Nguyen Truong Son said at the meeting attended by reporters.

Vietnam shares a long porous border with China and welcomes millions of visitors a year from its northern neighbour.

Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore and the United States have all reported confirmed cases of the new virus after it first emerged in China on December 31.