The Ministry of Health will hold an urgent meeting on Friday afternoon to discuss measures to prevent the pneumonia outbreak after the country reported first two novel coronavirus infection cases.
According to the General Department of Preventive Medicine, between January 14-20, Vietnam discovered three Chinese nationals suspected of having been infected with the pneumonia virus. The three who came from China’s Wuhan City had been isolated at Danang and Cam Ranh Airport and tested negative for the virus and returned to China after recovering.
Deputy Minister of Health Do Xuan Tuyen inspects the preparations for novel coronavirus prevention in Lang Son Province
On January 23, two other Chinese citizens were quarantined at Ho Chi Minh City-based Cho Ray Hospital after they tested positive to novel coronavirus (nCoV) that caused an acute pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan city, China.
Li Ding, 66, went to Hanoi from Wuhan on January 13, before going to Nha Trang city in southern central province of Khanh Hoa, said Dr Nguyen Ngoc Sang of the Cho Ray Hospital’s Department of Tropical Diseases.
His son Li Zichao, 28, who has lived in the Mekong Delta province of Long An neighbouring HCM City for the past four months, went to visit him in Nha Trang. Both of them then travelled to HCM City and Long An, said Sang.
The father got a fever on January 17, while the son had similar symptoms on January 20. Both were admitted to the Cho Ray Hospital on January 22.
Their fever had subsided after receiving treatment and they are now able to consume food and drinks.
Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son who came to the Cho Ray Hospital said as both patients have travelled through different places and met many other people in the country there is a chance they could have spread the disease.
Son asked the Office of the Ministry of Health to inform the provinces where the patients had came and the border gates where they had went through. The ministry will send urgent documents to authorities of Da Nang and Cam Ranh airports, requesting them to tighten the control of Chinese tourists, he added.
A pneumonia outbreak, caused by a new strain of the coronavirus family that caused SARS and MERS, first surfaced in Wuhan city, China last December.
The disease has spread to many other countries and territories. China's National Health Commission has confirmed 541 infections and 17 deaths as of January 23.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed that the new coronavirus could be contagious between humans.
The Vietnamese Ministry of Health has warned people to keep their distance from people with acute respiratory infections and wear a mask when talking to them. Equipment to monitor arriving passengers’ body temperature have been installed at airports in Hanoi, HCM City, Da Nang and Cam Ranh in central Vietnam.
The ministry's urgent meeting today will be attended by representatives from the WHO and will discuss measures to curb the disease outbreak in the coming time.