Vietnam’s Ministry of Health has called for urgent coordination from other ministries to take measures to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus that has killed nearly 5,000 people in West Africa.
The ministry on November 3 issued an urgent official letter to the ministries of Public Security, Foreign Affairs, and Culture, Sports and Culture, asking for a close coordination in monitoring visitors from the Ebola-hit areas.
The health ministry also sent an urgent message to the Ministry of Transport asking it to direct all airports to arrange isolation rooms, and isolation areas at international airports to receive suspected Ebola patients, if any.
The transport ministry is also required to train aviation staffs in how to handle people with Ebola signs at both airport or on planes.
The health authorities have proposed that the Ministry of Public Security direct police units at border gates to closely coordinate with local heath quarantine teams to monitor all visitors and require those who have left Ebola-hit areas within 21 days to fill health declaration forms.
Lists of visitors coming to Vietnam’s border gates from the epidemic areas must be sent to the health ministry’s Preventive Health Department everyday for supervision, the ministry said.
The health ministry proposed that the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Culture direct all departments of culture, sports and culture in provinces and cities to cooperate with local health units to monitor visitors who left the Ebola hit areas within 21 days and are staying in local hotels or guesthouses.
Meanwhile, the foreign ministry is required to direct its units to provide the health ministry’s preventive health department with the lists of people in Ebola-hit areas who are applying for visa to enter Vietnam.
The foreign ministry is also asked to take part in providing basic knowledge of Ebola prevention to Vietnamese people living in the Ebola-hit countries and to those who intend to return to Vietnam from those countries.
Vietnam has not discovered any Ebola infection cases so far, the health ministry confirmed.
Ebola is a highly dangerous virus that can kill 90 percent of infected people, the department warned, adding that it is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, bodily fluids and tissues of infected animals or people.
As a severe acute viral illness, the Ebola virus disease is often characterized by the sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The WHO announced last Friday that there have been 13,567 reported Ebola cases in eight countries since the outbreak began in March in Guinea. There have been 4,951 reported deaths from the disease.
The latest figures show that Liberia has 2,413 deaths from 6,535 cases of Ebola; Sierra Leone has 1,510 deaths out of 5,338 reported cases; and Guinea 1,018 deaths from 1,667 cases.