|World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan on August 8, 2014 in Geneva gives a press conference following a two-day emergency meeting on west Africa's Ebola epidemic, as the death toll nears 1,000. The UN health body said its emergency committee, which includes global medical and policy experts, had declared the deadliest known outbreak of the Ebola virus a "public health emergency of international concern". — AFP/VNA/VNS PHOTO
HA NOI (VNS) — Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam held an emergency meeting in Ha Noi with related ministries and agencies on Saturday to seek ways to prevent the Ebola virus spreading from West Africa .
Dung said the most important goal was to prevent Ebola from entering Viet Nam and ensuring public safety.
He asked the Ministry of Health to collaborate with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to establish a thorough understanding of the situation, while updating the community with the developments and dangers of the disease.
He urged the ministry to inform people about how the disease was transmitted, and ways to protect themselves from becoming infected.
It was also important to prepare response plans and treatment strategies in case Ebola entered Viet Nam, he said.
Dung also asked for the installation of health observation equipment at all border gates, while taking measures to limit citizens from travelling to affected countries.
In an effort to prevent the disease, the Ministry of Health will ask people from West African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak to sign a medical declaration before entering Viet Nam from August 15.
Any person suspected of having come into contact with the virus will be stopped at airports or border gates by quarantine staff, isolated and given medical support.
The ministry reported that as of August 7, Viet Nam had not recorded any Ebola cases.
The People's Committee of the northern boundary province of Lao Cai last Saturday issued an emergency direction asking its health sector to step up prevention measure against Ebola, with a focus on health supervision on people entering Viet Nam through the Lao Cai International Border Gate.
According to WHO, Ebola is introduced into the human population through close contact with blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals.
As yet, no licenced vaccination for Ebola is available.
On August 6, the WHO reported Ebola infections had reached 1,711 with 932 deaths, mostly in the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. — VNS