KCDC considers discharging 2nd confirmed patient

Feb 04, 2020, 08:25 am

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Director of Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Jung Eun-kyeong speaks during a briefing Monday./ Source: Ministry of Health and Welfare

By AsiaToday reporter Yoon Seo-young

The government is considering discharging the country’s second confirmed new coronavirus patient as the patient’s pneumonia symptoms have improved and tested negative for the virus.

“The second patient has shown improvement in the symptoms of pneumonia and tested negative for the new coronavirus in the polymerase chain reaction (PCR),” Jung Eun-kyeong, the head of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), revealed on Monday. “The hospital has stopped antiviral treatment for the patient. We are still monitoring the case to determine whether the patient can nbe discharged,” Jung added. 

The second patient is a 55-year-old South Korean man who returned from Wuhan on January 22. He was confirmed to have been infected two days later. He has been receiving treatment at the National Medical Center in Seoul. If an infected patient is tested negative to two PCR tests within a 24-hour interval, he or she can be released from quarantine. However, release from quarantine does not immediately lead to a discharge from the hospital as such a decision has to be determined by medical experts after taking into many situations.

If the second patient is discharged, it will be the first case of full recovery in the country. The first confirmed patient is also reported to be in stable condition. “The first patient is carrying out daily activities. The patient’s health condition is stable,” Jung said. 

China’s National Health Commission on Monday said a total of 475 people had been discharged from hospital after full recovery. There were recovery cases in Japan, Australia, Thailand, and Vietnam as well.

South Korea has released 45 people, who were quarantined after having contact with the country’s first confirmed patient. 75 others who came into contact with the second patient will be also released from observation on Friday if none show signs of being sick. 

So far, the country has reported 15 confirmed cases, 10 patients of whom were male. The median age was 42.9 years old. 

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