|Earlier on Monday, the ministry sent urgent dispatches to the Ministries of Public Security; Culture, Sports and Tourism; Foreign Affairs; and Transport, calling for closer co-ordination in supervising target travellers. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hai
HA NOI (VNS) — The Ministry of Health is partnering closely with other sectors to keep tourists from Ebola-hit areas under strict observation as the epidemic has claimed at least 4,951 lives in West Africa and is spreading beyond the affected region.
Viet Nam had so far reported no infection case of the virus, the ministry confirmed on Tuesday.
Earlier on Monday, the ministry sent urgent dispatches to the Ministries of Public Security; Culture, Sports and Tourism; Foreign Affairs; and Transport, calling for closer co-ordination in supervising target travellers.
Accordingly, health workers and border gate police will jointly make a list of passengers from Ebola-hit countries on a daily basis, and ask them to fill the medical declaration form.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Transport was asked to arrange body temperature scanners and isolation wards at international border gates and airport terminals.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will work with the health ministry to popularise preventive measures against the virus for Vietnamese expatriates in Ebola-hit areas and those preparing to come back home.
Ebola is a severe acute viral illness often characterised by the sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headaches and a sore throat. These syptoms are followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, 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.
Indochina against Ebola
In another development, representatives from the health sector of Viet Nam, Laos and Cambodia have agreed on a joint action programme to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, particularly Ebola, through their shared aviation and land ports of entry.
The agreement was reached at a Tuesday workshop in the southwestern province of Tay Ninh, during which the sides also reviewed the implementation of border quarantine agreements which Viet Nam signed with Laos in 2001 and with Cambodia in 2006.
Under the action programme, the three countries will conduct compulsory quarantine on 14 diseases, including nine particularly dangerous infectious diseases in group A such as dengue fever caused by Ebola virus and influenza caused by virus strains A/H5N1 and A/H7N9, and five diseases in group B which includes diphtheria and malaria. The three sides agreed to ask their health ministries and localities to regularly exchange disease information by email, help one another improve the quarantine system's capacity, and organise meetings on a rotational basis to review the implementation of the agreements.
According to the Preventive Medicine Department, four airports, nine sea ports, 19 land and waterway international border gates, and four main and three auxiliary land border gates in Viet am are subject to the health quarantine agreements with Laos and Cambodia. — VNS