A/H1N1 influenza is spreading in Vietnam as the country reported 45 more new cases on July 26, bringing the total number of cases tested positive to the deadly virus to 612, local officials said.

Of the newly-infected cases, several patients are students who contracted the disease in Ho Chi Minh City and then transmitted the deadly virus to others when travelling to the Central Highlands for summer holidays.

The Health Ministry’s Preventive Medicine Department said close to 400 patients have recovered and been discharged from hospitals. The rest are being quarantined and treated and are all in stable health condition.

The department warned of the transmission of A/H1N1 influenza among those who use means of public transport, particularly students as they have not been aware of the danger and the spread of the epidemic.

Southern provinces, such as Khanh Hoa, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Lam Dong, Binh Duong, Dong Thap, Dong Nai, Binh Phuoc, Tay Ninh, and Long An have detected A/H1N1 cases among students studying in Ho Chi Minh City’s Ngo Thoi Nhiem and Nguyen Khuyen schools who came back home for summer vacation.

In a telegram issued on July 25, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung asked the entire political system to take part in the fight against A/H1N1 flu as the disease showed initial signs of spreading into communities.

The government leader required heads of ministries, ministerial-level agencies, government agencies, and cities and provinces to promptly carry out urgent measures to prevent A/H1N1 flu from spreading.

He asked the media and other means of communication to raise public awareness of flu preventive measures so as to get the entire people involved in combating the disease.

PM Dung asked the Health Minister to lead round-the-clock surveillance over developments of the disease and prepare necessary medicines and medical facilities for treatment.

The PM also ordered the Ministry of Education and Training to provide guidance on flu preventive measures for teachers and students and issue a temporary closure of schools if necessary in order to prevent the disease from spreading vastly.

Since the first A/H1N1 flu case was discovered in Vietnam on May 30, 2009, the disease remained under control with no fatality confirmed./.