Vietnam reports first ever death from coronavirus

Vietnam has been a coronavirus global success story. Credit: AP

Vietnam has reported its first ever death from coronavirus.

According to local media, a 70-year-old man died after contracting the disease while being treated for a kidney illness at a hospital in Da Nang where more than 90 cases have been reported over the past week. The death has not been confirmed by the country's health ministry.

The south-east Asian country had gone 99 days without any Covid-19 cases but is now struggling with an outbreak in the Da Nang region.

Credit: AP

Dr. Luong Ngoc Khue, head of the country’s Administration of Medical Examination and Treatment, says there are at least six other elderly patients with Covid-19 currently in critical condition.

All have other underlying illnesses, he said.

Vietnam has been praised for its response to the pandemic after reporting just 420 cases and no deaths.

An aggressive and widespread testing programme along with strict quarantine had helped the country almost eradicate the disease within its borders.

But the country is back on high alert after confirming its first local infections since April in the Da Nang region.

A doctor attends to ‘Patient 91’, a British pilot who survived Covid-19, at Cho Ray Hospital Credit: Handout via AP

It has grown to 93 confirmed cases in six parts of the country, including three of the largest cities, and forced authorities to reimpose restrictions. Last weekend Vietnam ordered the evacuation of Da Nang, a city of 80,000 people, after three residents tested positive for coronavirus.

A 42-year-old Scottish man had been Vietnam’s most critical Covid-19 patient.

Stephen Cameron returned home to Scotland earlier this month after spending 65 days on life support.The pilot was known in Vietnam as Patient 91 as he was the 91st person in the country confirmed to have the coronavirus.