Director Sanong Thongsana of Mittaphab “150 Bed” Hospital updates the public about the condition of the patients receiving care in Vientiane during an exclusive television interview.
Host: What is the current condition of the eight patients currently being treated at Mittaphab Hospital?
Dr. Sanong: The patients are in stable condition. It is time for the first and second patients to retake the COVID-19 test to see whether the virus is still present in their system.
Host: Which patients are recovering the fastest? Will some patients be ready to return home?
Dr. Sanong: This depends on the evaluation of the results of the re-tests. For the first and second patients, we have now reached the 10th-11th day, so we have already retaken their respiratory samples for testing to see if the virus is still in their system. If the results come back negative, we have to wait another 24-48 hours and then retest a second time.
Host: We’ve heard that the 3rd patient’s health is improving the most?
Dr. Sanong: Yes, the patient is improving quite well, with a few minor coughs. However, we need time to assess whether the virus has truly disappeared. We cannot evaluate a patient’s condition based on alleviated symptoms alone. We must await laboratory results to confirm.
Host: What needs to happen before a patient is allowed to return home?
Dr. Sanong: The patient has to show no signs of fever for a minimum of 72 hours. Two consecutive tests must be performed and both must show negative. Then, they will be allowed to return home. Upon returning, we strongly recommend that the patient continue to adhere strictly to preventive and control measures for 2 weeks and more…The first six of eight patients are doing very well. The seventh has just checked in. However, the eighth patient (foreign national from PNG) has the most intense symptoms (mildly critical). Our medical team is monitoring him closely.
Host: This morning, we received news about the 12th case in Laos. How does her condition differ from those of others?
Dr. Sanong: The 12th case is a Lao student returning from the UK. Her condition is good. After a two-week self-isolation period [mandated upon her return] ended, she was tested again and this time showing a positive result. She has been admitted to our hospital.
Host: Can we guarantee that the ones who are allowed to return home are 100% free of the virus and will not infect others?
Dr. Sanong: We have to wait for the laboratory results to confirm this. At this moment, we cannot permit anyone to return home yet.
Host: What would you like the public to know about what kind of symptoms they should be wary of? How do they know that they should be getting tested or not?
Dr. Sanong: The symptoms will vary. At the outset, we were particularly concerned about people from at-risk countries where the disease was spreading. Now, our country is suffering from the outbreak. Especially with the return of the laborers from abroad, the risk is high. Therefore, we must all be vigilant even within our own country. We must all monitor our own symptoms. If you feel suspicious about yourself, please notify the health authorities.
Here is the full interview in Lao language.