|Medical personnel inspect passengers using an infrared body temperature screening system at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCM City. Viet Nam is stepping up efforts to prevent the Ebola virus from entering the country. — VNA/VNS Photo Hong Hai
HA NOI (VNS)— Viet Nam is doing all it can to prevent the Ebola virus from entering the country, said deputy minister of health Nguyen Thanh Long at a meeting of the National Steering Committee for Ebola Virus Prevention in Ha Noi yesterday.
"No case has been detected so far in our country. However, there is a risk of the virus entering Viet Nam through foreign visitors, especially those returning from West Africa," Long said.
Even though the World Health Organisation (WHO) recently declared Ebola an international public health emergency, Long said that people should not worry too much about contracting the disease.
"It is lucky that trade exchange between Viet Nam and the four countries with Ebola in West Africa is not high as the virus is transmitted by direct contact with tissue, blood and bodily fluids of infected animals or people," he said.
The deputy health minister warned that Vietnamese people should not go to Africa, especially areas where Ebola has broken out, and advised people to practice good personal hygiene.
Currently there are 15 Vietnamese citizens in Liberia, including 10 in Ebola-stricken areas. However, all of them remain in good health, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Prime Minister asked provinces and cities to draw up disease prevention plans and set up quarantine areas. Health quarantine and supervision measures have been strengthened at all international border gates, where passengers arriving from West African areas with Ebola outbreaks will fill out medical declaration forms.
VN to halt tours
The Viet Nam Tourism Administration has advised all operators to temporary halt all tours to countries heavily affected by the Ebola virus such as Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.
The administration has called on tour operators to provide enough information to tourists and travellers on preventing Ebola and following medical check-ups as requested by quarantine and health officials.
All hotels and guest houses must increasingly monitor the health of those who stay there, especially international tourists, and provide timely information to relevant agencies if there are any suspected cases.
Ebola has killed nearly 970 people and officials believe there have been suspected cases in Southeast Asia but so far, there have been no official confirmations. — VNS