The central city of Da Nang is intensifying medical monitoring at its international airport, seaports and border gates in a bid to prevent Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Corona virus (MERS-CoV) from entering Vietnam.

At an emergency meeting on June 4, Deputy Director of the municipal Health Department, Ngo Thi Kim Yen, stressed the importance of supervising foreign passengers entering the city at the Da Nang International Airport, especially those from China and the Republic of Korea (RoK) which have recorded MERS-CoV cases.

She noted that there are many foreigners visiting Da Nang during the impending tourist season.

According to statistics from the Da Nang International Health Quarantine Centre, each week the Da Nang Airport caters to 22 flights from the RoK carrying around 4,500 passengers and 63 flights from China with from 12,000-13,000 people aboard.

All passengers from the two countries have been required to fill out health declaration forms at the airport since June 3, and at Tien Sa port since June 4.

Also the same day, Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long inspected the prevention of the work at Cho Ray and tropical disease hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City.

MERS-CoV has so far spread to 26 countries with 1,179 patients, 442 of whom have died, according to the Ministry of Health.

In Asia, four countries have recorded MERS-CoV cases: the Philippines, Malaysia, the RoK and China.

Vietnam has implemented drastic prevention measures due to the rapid spreading of MERS-CoV.

MERS-CoV, first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012, belongs to a family of corona viruses including SARS, which haunted Asia in 2003.

The disease can spread between people and causes fevers, breathing problems, pneumonia and kidney failure.

The mortality rate of those infected with the virus is about 51 percent. No vaccine is currently available.-VNA