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Vietnam steps up coronavirus prevention

Vietnam is stepping measures to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus, which has killed more than 130 people since it was first detected in China’s Wuhan Province.



People walking on the street during the Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday in Hà Nội wear face masks to prevent coronavirus.


The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and Ministry of Education and Training yesterday sent urgent messages to agencies under their authority, requesting them to increase preventive measures against the virus.

The tourism ministry asked tourism sectors of localities nationwide to pay special heed to controlling and keeping a close watch on the acute respiratory disease caused by the virus.

In an urgent telegram issued on Wednesday, Tourism Minister Nguyễn Ngọc Thiện requested authorities of provinces and cities across the country to direct local tourism departments and grassroots authorities to do this work effectively.

“Localities need to ask international travel businesses to suspend tours for visitors from localities that reported cases of the novel coronavirus (nCoV), and do not bring tourists from affected areas in China into Việt Nam,” reads the telegram.

“Synchronous management measures should be devised to closely monitor the health of Chinese tourists who are on tours of Việt Nam and their schedule.

“Travel agencies, accommodation establishments and tourism services providers must do their best to ensure absolute safety for tourists and tourism workers.

“If any case of suspected infection is detected, they need to actively coordinate with local medical establishments to carry out quarantine measures in line with instructions by the Ministry of Health.”

The education ministry requested universities, institutes, schools and training centres across the country to collaborate with local health units to come up with action plans and concrete measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

They should strictly comply with Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc’s Directive No 5, issued on Tuesday, on implementing different sets of laws to prevent the virus, the ministry said.

Communication sessions should be organised to raise students’ awareness of the epidemic, it added.

The Department of Education and Training of the central city of Đà Nẵng yesterday requested schools and education centres in the city to increase measures to prevent the virus, including cleaning and sterilising all facilities and educational equipment before students return to school after the Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday.

The Ministry of Health’s Medical Services Administration on Wednesday asked directors of health departments and hospitals across the country to submit names and addresses of hospitals or health centres that might be able to treat pneumonia caused by coronavirus.

Most border gates between Việt Nam and China in the northern province of Lạng Sơn will stop the imports and exports of goods until February 9, except for the Hữu Nghị border gate where these activities will resume on February 3, according to the province’s Tân Thanh Customs Branch.

An urgent meeting was held within the People's Committees of the south-central province of Khánh Hòa and the southern province of Cần Thơ on Wednesday to come up with plans to prevent the virus.

At a meeting with the health ministry regarding the virus on Tuesday, Prime Minister Phúc said Việt Nam is setting up a rapid response team to fight the virus.

He requested the health ministry to provide daily updates regarding the epidemic, and direct and guide localities and units to strictly supervise and detect cases early, especially those entering the country from infected areas.

Many other ministries have been told to play their part to ensure the virus causes minimum problems in the country.

The PM issued Directive No 05, which requires ministries, branches and localities to strictly implement the Law on Exit and Entry of Vietnamese citizens, the Law on Medical Examination and Treatment, the Law on Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases, and the ban on importing wildlife into the country.

Tested negative

Two Vietnamese people and two Chinese tourists tested negative for the virus on Wednesday in the Central Highlands province of Đắk Lắk and northern province of Bắc Giang.

Twenty four people has been released from hospital after being quarantined for the virus at Đà Nẵng General Hospital, the city’s health department said in a statement yesterday.

The statement said the city had isolated and tested 52 people (10 from China, two Malaysian and 16 Vietnamese), of which 24 have been declared healthy and able to leave the hospital.

Five people suspected of being infected with the virus in the northern province of Lào Cao no longer suffer fever and are recovering, said director of Lào Cai General Hospital Phạm Văn Thịnh. However, their test results have not been released.

The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak rose to 132 as of Wednesday since the virus was first detected in Wuhan, China. VNS


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