HÀ NỘI — Responding to the recent outbreak of coronavirus, Việt Nam will give high priority to the prevention and combat of epidemics.
Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam made the statement at an emergency meeting of the Ministry of Health in response to acute pneumonia caused by novel coronavirus (nCoV) on Friday.
According to Đam, the cases of two Chinese who tested positive for nCoV in HCM City are just initial results. Some other suspected cases are being kept under close monitoring, their samples are being tested and results will be announced as soon as they were available.
The deputy PM said as Việt Nam has a long border with China, it was necessary to immediately carry out health declarations at border gates.
“People who show signs of fever or those in contact with people with suspected signs should be strictly monitored,” he said.
He emphasised that many Chinese people come to Việt Nam, so a high warning level should be issued for the country.
Ministries and agencies should recommend people restrict access to places at risk of epidemics, especially those in China.
The Deputy PM said the Ministry of Health’s emergency operations centre had been activated to prevent nCoV from spreading. He also urged strong actions to protect health workers from infection and provide sufficient and precise information for the public.
Regarding the two cases which tested positive for nCoV, Phan Trọng Lân, director of the Pasteur Institute said Li Ding had travelled from Wuhan City to Ha Noi on January 13, then to Nha Trang. His son, Li Zichao, has lived in southern Long An Province for the past four months. Li Zichao travelled to Nha Trang to meet his father then went to HCM City before returning to Long An Province.
Li Ding developed a fever on January 17, and Li Zichao developed similar symptoms on January 20. Both were admitted to the Chợ Rẫy Hospital on Wednesday night (January 22).
He said the institute was collaborating with experts from international health organisations to monitor the cases and results would soon be announced.
Talking about the contagious potential of these cases, Lân pointed out that the risk of spreading to the community was low. The health sector has implemented strict measures to isolate the cases so people could be assured, he said.
Trần Như Dương, deputy director of Central Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology said no infections had been detected in the north of Việt Nam.
Addressing the meeting, Đỗ Xuân Tuyên, deputy Minister of Health said measures were being adopted by provinces and cities across the country.
The ministry has warned people to keep their distance from people with acute respiratory infections and wear a mask when talking to them. People who shows signs of coughing or difficulty breathing should visit the nearest health facilities for treatment.
Equipment to monitor arriving passengers’ body temperatures has been installed at airports in Hà Nội, HCM City, Đà Nẵng and Cam Ranh in central Việt Nam.
Việt Nam has implemented health declarations for people arriving from China by air and road.
Regarding treatment, the health sector has directed units under its leadership to treat infected patients locally and restrict transferring the patients to central hospitals. Hospitals were asked to arrange isolated areas to prevent cross-infection.
A pneumonia outbreak, caused by a new strain of the coronavirus family that caused SARS and MERS, first surfaced in Wuhan city, China, in December. The disease has spread to many other countries and territories. China’s National Health Commission has confirmed 830 infection cases and 25 deaths as of January 24. — VNS
Foreign ministry advises Vietnamese against travel to coronavirus-affected areas
HÀ NỘI — The Consular Department under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has advised Vietnamese citizens against travelling to areas reporting cases of acute pneumonia caused by a novel coronavirus (nCoV) strain or likely affected by the disease as specified by Chinese authorities and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
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