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Vietnam airports to use automated disinfection systems to prevent Ebola

Vietnam’s health authorities have been scheduled to put two automated disinfection systems into operation at the country’s two major airports on Saturday, in a step to prevent the Ebola epidemic from spreading, the Ministry of Health said Friday.

Vietnam's health authorities have been scheduled to put two automated disinfection systems into operation at the country's two major airports on Saturday, in a step to prevent the Ebola epidemic from spreading, the Ministry of Health said Friday.
Vietnam’s health authorities have been scheduled to put two automated disinfection systems into operation at the country’s two major airports on Saturday, in a step to prevent the Ebola epidemic from spreading, the Ministry of Health said Friday.



One of the two systems will be transported by the Hanoi Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology to the Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, while the other will be carried to the Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCMC by the local Pasteur Institute on August 16, the health ministry said.

The departments of health of Hanoi and HCMC are required to coordinate with the two airports’ authorities in installing the systems and putting them in operation within Sartuday, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said in a statement.

The systems, worth US$800,000 each, were donated as an aid by the German Government to Vietnam in 2012.

Each system is equipped with advanced equipment to disinfect and sterilize both vehicles and people.

As for people, the disinfection process will be conducted in a bathroom equipped with shower to spray chemical at a high pressure.

The ministry decided to equip the two airports with the system as one of the necessary measures to prevent a possible penetration of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) into Vietnam.

The EVD outbreak began in Guinea in March 2014 and then spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

As of August 14, the worst ever outbreak of Ebola has affected 2,127 people in these four West African nations and killed 1,145 of them, the WHO said on Friday.

Efforts to prevent the deadly virus, which can kill up to 90 percent of the infected people, are being taken in many countries in the world, including Vietnam.

All air passengers coming to Vietnam from the Ebola-hit area in West Africa have been requested to fill out health declaration forms at airports since August 11, according to a new regulation from the Vietnamese Ministry of Health.

Such passengers are required to monitor their health for 21 days from the day they left the Ebola-hit area, the ministry said, explaining that the measure is necessary as EVD has an incubation period of two to 21 days.

As a severe acute viral illness, the EVD is often characterized by the sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat, according to the WHO.

The Hanoi Health Department has set up two hot lines, 0969082115 and 0949396115, to receive information related to the Ebola epidemic developments.

Meanwhile, the HCMC Pasteur Institute on Thursday carried out a drill to deal with an Ebola outbreak to evaluate and improve the skills and readiness of health workers in epidemic prvention and control.

The rehearsal was based on a scenario that three Vietnamese people are found infected with the deadly virus after returning to HCMC from Liberia, one of the four Ebola-hit West African countries.