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British pilot able to stand, undergoing physical therapy

 The British pilot, known as Vietnam’s 91st COVID-19 patient, is able to stand and is undergoing physical therapy with the support of medical workers, according to Ho Chi Minh City’s Cho Ray Hospital.

Vietnam’s 91st COVID-19 patient (centre) is able to stand and undergoing physical therapy

The development is a miracle, said doctors from the hospital on June 16.

Several days ago, the patient, named Stephen Cameron, could sit up in a wheelchair and enjoy the fresh air on the balcony of the hospital. He could move his hands and legs, press key on a keyboard, and use a mobile phone.

Doctors said he still needed time to regain use of his leg muscles.

He has been disconnected from extracorporeal membrane oxygenation  (ECMO) for 13 days and come off the ventilator for three days, said Associate Professor Luong Ngoc Khue, head of the health ministry's Department of Medical Examination and Treatment and deputy head of treatment subcommittee under the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

The patient is in a stable condition and is able to talk. Hand and arm muscles have gradually recovered. About four fifths of his leg muscles have recovered. He undergoes physical therapy twice a day.

The subcommittee said the British pilot needs many weeks to recover. During the recovery period, there might be new phases of infections.

According to Dr Nguyen Van Vinh Chau, director of HCM City’s Hospital of Tropical Diseases, the company which sold insurance to the patient agreed to cover expenses for 65 days he was treated at the hospital. The expenses were estimated to reach 3.5 billion VND (152,000 USD).

The 91st patient has been treated at hospitals for 89 days. He was moved from the Hospital of Tropical Diseases to the Intensive Care Unit of Cho Ray Hospital on May 22 with severely damaged lungs.

He was the most critical COVID-19 patient in Vietnam and tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 at least six times./.