Vietnam takes measures to prevent Ebola outbreak

Nhan Dan/VNA – The Ministry of Health is stepping up efforts to prevent the Ebola virus from entering Vietnam.

Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien speaks at the conference. (VNA)
Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien speaks at the conference. (VNA)

Speaking at an online conference of the Steering Committee for Epidemic Prevention and Control on August 6, Tran Dac Phu, head of the ministry’s Department of Preventative Medicine, warned the virus could potentially enter the country.

This could happen through Vietnamese or foreign citizens arriving in Vietnam from affected countries.

Phu said the Ebola epidemic is disastrous in West Africa. The World Health Organisation said the virus had already killed 932 people.

The ministry has advised the Government on its preparations and asked that all border gates seek medical information from those passing through.

The National Hospital of Tropical Diseases is working on a plan for diagnosis and treatment of Ebola. The ministry is working with the WHO, seeking technical assistance in diagnosing the disease.

Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien asked all relevant agencies to tighten inspections at hospitals and border gates.

She also warned Vietnamese citizens of the risks involved with travelling to the affected countries.

Suspected samples of the disease will be sent to the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology and Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh City.

Also on the day, Nguyen Khac Hien, Director of the Hanoi Department of Health, asked the Centre for international health assistance, quarantine facilities in Hanoi and to increase the monitoring of cases.

In HCM City, Nguyen Huu Hung, Deputy Director of the municipal Health Department, instructed relevant units to intensify surveillance and take preventative measures.

The department is keeping a close watch on the spread of the virus and is strengthening quarantines at Tan Son Nhat International Airport, international ports and border gates.