|The ministry said that all passengers arriving from South Korea would have to fill in health declaration forms.— File Photo
HA NOI (VNS) — The Ministry of Health yesterday organised an emergency meeting in the capital city to work out emergency measures to respond to a deadly outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in South Korea.
The ministry said that all passengers arriving from South Korea would have to fill in health declaration forms.
By yesterday, according to CNN, 25 MERS cases had been confirmed and two people had died from the disease in South Korea. In China, the first MERS case was confirmed on May 29.
In such a context, at yesterday emergency meeting, a WHO representative asked Viet Nam to provide information about the outbreak to its citizens and health organisations. The representative also called on Viet Nam to pay special attention to infection control.
Meanwhile the US Centre for Disease Control office in Viet Nam called on Viet Nam to adopt a long and sustainable disease preventive programme.
The centre's representative also asked Viet Nam not to limit the MERS observation and health declaration requirements to only people coming from nine Middle East countries, where it thrived in camel meat, but also from other nations.
The representative argued that disease surveillance in some countries may fail to detect the virus in humans, helping the disease spread.
On average, about 1,000 South Korean citizens enter Viet Nam a day through either international border check points or through cross-border check points.
This is why the ministry has asked all border check points to demand strict health declaration for all passengers coming from or going to South Korea.
It also asked the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism to take immediate measures to prevent the spread of MERS to the country.
According to statistics coming from the Noi Bai (Ha Noi) and Tan Son Nhat (Ho Chi Minh City) International Airports, since early 2015, 23,000 passengers from nine Middle East countries have entered Viet Nam through the two airports.
On average, every month nearly 5,000 people from the Middle East check in at Viet Nam's major international airports.— VNS