|Viet Nam set top priority to strictly supervise people entering Viet Nam from Ebola-affected areas.— Photo xaluan
HA NOI (VNS) — Ministry of Health agencies and departments continue to be on high alert for the deadly Ebola virus, particularly at border gates, said Tran Dac Phu, director of the ministry's Preventive Medicine Department.
He said it was a top priority to strictly supervise people entering Viet Nam from Ebola-affected areas, especially medical staff who were more likely to have come in contact with the disease. He added that the ministry would run more communication campaigns, equip laboratories with the necessities and command localities to prepare for the disease.
The ministry's requests were released as developments in the Ebola epidemic in Western Africa become more and more complicated. Phu said the World Health Organisation (WHO) reckoned it could take six to nine months to contain the epidemic.
An urgent meeting was held on Monday with international experts, who said the virus was still raging across the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, resulting in more than 8,300 patients and more than 4,000 deaths so far. Meanwhile, Spain and the US have recorded two Ebola patients, the first cases outside of the virus-affected region.
Representatives from the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explained that there was no scientific evidence for the transmission of Ebola through the air. They warned that Ebola could enter the country via passengers traveling to Viet Nam from the affected region.
At the meeting, CDC and WHO experts spoke highly of Viet Nam's timely and comprehensive preparations in anticipation of the disease. Participants agreed on the need to regularly give updates on all the Ebola-related information published by the WHO and CDC.
Viet Nam was asked to continue to keep a close look on its ports of entry and communities where expats from Congo, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal live.
The country was told to intensify training and personal protective measures at medical establishments and expand communication efforts.
Experts said, with the assistance of the WHO and Japan, Viet Nam is now capable of testing for Ebola.
Ebola is an acute viral illness often characterised by the sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headaches and a sore throat. These symptoms are followed by vomiting, diarrhea, skin rashes, impaired kidney and liver functions, and in some cases, internal and external bleeding.
The virus is transmitted via close contact with an infected person's bodily fluids such as sweat, blood and tissue.
No cases of Ebola infections have been reported in Viet Nam so far. — VNS