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Friday December 9th, 2022

Vietnam keeps Covid-19 mortality rate zero so far with artificial lung (ECMO) support

CORONAVIRUS BATTLE: Vietnam is probably the most successful country so far in battling Coronavirus, in both contact tracing and keeping mortality rates down. The country on April 23 relaxed social isolation (stay at home) after 08 days of zero new domestic cases.

ECONOMYNEXT – Vietnam has kept mortality rate low in a Coronavirus crisis with zero deaths recorded as of April 28, pulling back aged patients from the brink of death with backed by external blood oxygenation using artificial lungs amid threats of multi-organ failure and blood coagulation disorders.

Vietnam probably has the lowest confirmed cases and mortality rate for a country of that size (95 million), while its neighbhour Cambodia, which is also contact tracing, has also reported low numbers.

Vietnam has been aggressively Contact tracing and using tests extensively (over 210,000 tests) to stop index cases going into big clusters and also using precautionary testing of high risk areas.

Vietnam has reported 270 cases 45 are still being treated and 225 have recovered according to health ministry data. But the country has found some relapses.

Vietnam completely killed the First Wave from China identifying 16 patients with Saigon’s Cho Ray hospital saving a 72-year old Chinese man who had a history of complications.

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Of the earliest victims of Wave II from third countries, Patient Number 19, a known as Madam LTH, was now making progress, Luong Ngoc Khue, a doctor in the medical team fighting Coronavirus was quoted as saying on Suckhoe and Doisong, a health promotion portal linked to the ministry of health.

She was the aunt of Patient 17, the first Second Wave patient in Vietnam who returned from Italy and UK, after the country completely stamped out Wave I epidemic from China.

Countries that did not close borders with China, did not contact trace returnees from the country, and allowed domestic community transmission to go uncheckded, exported their citizens to trigger the global Wave II pandemic.

Vietnam, Cambodia and Sri Lanka were among countries tightened controls on Chinese and other arrivals against World Health Organization advice at the time to keep numbers down and did not contribute to the pandemic by re-exporting citizens with the disease.

Too keep down mortality, Vietnam doctors kept medical resources free by extensively tracing contacts and tests.
Vietnam doctors are still battling to save three patients, two Vietnam nationals and one Briton.

As ventilators became less effective amid rising pneumonia, Vietnam doctors put the 64-year old Patient 19 on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, the same technology used in used during transplants (heart lung machines) to take-over the functions of the heart and lung.

On April 04 it was reported that she was off the ECMO machine and was on ventilator only.

She had lung damage but showed improved blood oxygenation. Heart rhythm disorder had lessened, blood blood pressure is stable, and good perception, communication, inconsistent was being fed with a gastric tube, there was no no reflux, no bleeding.

She is now using a tracheotomy tube and doctors said they have begun the process of weaning her off the ventilator.

Patient No 161 was also on a ventilator with tracheostomy and was still ‘weakly postive’ for SARS-CoV-2, the report said. There was progress in the condition of her lung, heart and blood pressure was normal but had left spastic hemiplegia. Communication was slow.

Doctors are most concerned about Patient 91, a British national. Out of 270 confirmed cases about 160 were foreigners mostly index cases, and sometimes close (F1) contacts according to reports.

Patient 91, a UK pilot working for Vietnam Airlines was still on ECMO. He had no fever, had tested negative for Coronavirus three times but had lung damage.

The patient was overweight and already had sever lung damage when he was admitted to the Tropical Disease Hospital in Saigon.

He was put on oxygen, CPAP and then intubated and put on a ventilator. When the ventilator was no longer effective a medical team from Cho Ray hospital came to hook him to a ECMO inside a negative pressure room.

Vietnam’s top doctors of various specialties were called on video conference to stabilize as his condition deteriorated earlier in April, as complications mounted and blood coagulation which is believed to be linked to Coronavirus got worse.

Doctors were quoted as saying anti-coagulation drugs had to be imported from Germany.

At various times doctors in Vietnam had used drugs to fight fungal infections, stabilize blood pressure, constrict blood vessels and as well as fighting blood coagulation and keep critically ill patients alive long enough to beat the virus. (SB-Colombo/Apr28/2020)

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Sri Lanka bond yields end higher, kerb dollar Rs370/371

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka bonds yields ended up and the T-bills eased on active trade on Friday, dealers said.

The US dollar was 370/371 rupees in the kerb.

“The bond rates went up, however more interest was seen in the short term bills by the investors” dealers said.

A bond maturing on 01.05.2024 closed at 31.90/32.20 percent on Friday, up from 31.25/70 percent at Thursday’s close.

A bond maturing on 15.05.2026 closed at 30.30/31.30 percent steady from 30.30/31.00 percent.

The three-month T-bills closed at 30.75/31.30 percent, down from 32.00/32.25 percent.

The Central Bank’s guidance peg for interbank transactions was at 363.18 rupees against the US dollar unchanged.

Commercial banks offered dollars for telegraphic transfers between 371.78 and 372.00 for small transactions, data showed.

Buying rates are between 361.78 – 362.00 rupees. (Colombo/Dec 09/2022)

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Foreign minister, US ambassador discuss future assistance to crisis-hit Sri Lanka

ECONOMYNEXT — In a meeting in Colombo, Sri Lanka Foreign Minister Ali Sabry and US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung discussed ways in which the United States can continue to support Sri Lanka going forward, the Ambassador said.

Chung tweeted Friday December 09 afternoon that the two officials had reflected on the “twists and turns” of 2022, at the meeting.

Minister Sabry was recently in Washington D.C. where he US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

A foreign ministry statement said the two officials held productive discussions at the Department of State on December 02 on further elevating bilateral relations in diverse spheres, including the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations which will be marked in 2023.

Incidentally, Sri Lanka also celebrates the 75th anniversary of its independence from the British in 2023, and President Ranil Wickremesinghe has given himself and all parties that represent parliament a deadline to find a permanent solution to Sri Lanka’s decades-long ethnic issue.

The US has been vocal about Sri Lanka addressing concerns about its human rights record since the end of the civil war in 2009 and was a sponsor of the latest resolution on Sri Lanka passed by the United Nations Human Rights Council. Unlike previous resolutions, this year’s iteration makes specific reference to the country’s prevailing currency crisis and calls for investigations on corruption allegations.

In the lead up to the UNHRC sessions in Geneva, Minister Sabry Sri Lanka’s government under then new president Wickremesinghe does not want any confrontation with any international partner but will oppose any anti-constitutional move forced upon the country.

On the eve of the sessions on October 06, Sabry said countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom, who led the UNHRC core group on Sri Lanka, are greatly influenced by domestic-level lobbying by pressure groups from the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora.

These pronouncements notwithstanding, the Wickremesnghe government has been making inroads to the West as well as India and Japan, eager to obtain their assistance in seeing Sri Lanka through the ongoing crisis.

The island nation has entered into a preliminary agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for an extended fund facility of 2.9 billion dollars to be disbursed over a period of four years, subject to a successful debt restructure programme and structural reforms.

Much depends on whether or not China agrees to restructure Sri Lanka’s 7.4 billion dollar outstanding debt to the emerging superpower. Beijing’s apparent hesitance to go for a swift restructure prompted Tamil National Alliance MP Shanakiyan Rasamanickam to warn of possible “go home, China” protests in Colombo, similar to the wave of protests that forced the exit of former pro-China President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

The TNA will be a key player in upcoming talks with the Wickremesinghe government on a solution to Sri Lanka’s ethnic issue. (Colombo/Dec09/2022)

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India smogs out Sri Lanka’s China tower observers

 

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Chinese-built Lotus Tower has halved visitors to its observation deck an official said as dirty air flowing from India triggered air quality warnings and schools in the capital closed.

“Masks are mandatory at the observation deck and roughly around 50 to 60 can go up to the observation deck at a time, time limits have not been altered and still persists at 20 minutes for observation,” the official told EconomyNext.

Prior to the smog, 120 observers were permitted at once to the deck.

However, even after limitations the Lotus Tower has continued to draw visitors, and revenues are coming in, the official said.

The tower built with a Chinese loan by the cash rich Telecom Regulatory Commission has been described by critics as a white elephant that eats the money earned from telecom operators mainly as spectrum fees.

Sri Lanka’s National Building Research Organization (NBRO) said India air heavily polluted with particulate matter was flowing across the island into a depression in the South West Bengal Bay. (Colombo/Dec09/2022)

 

 

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