Following the unpredictable development of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV) infections, Ho Chi Minh City’s Health Department has requested related units to prevent the spread of the disease into Vietnam, especially by intensifying inspection works in international airports and border gates.

Accordingly, the municipal international health quarantine centre will use remote body temperature apparatus to detect people with high fevers at international airports and sea ports. People who are suspected of suffering from the illness will be isolated immediately and receive preliminary checkups and tests.

The city’s preventive health centre will be responsible for monitoring in the community, and preparing facilities and medicine to cope with the disease if an outbreak occurs.

According to Head of the Preventive Health Department Tran Dac Phu, no case of MERS-CoV has been recorded in Vietnam, so far.
The country is working with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and international organisations to keep strict monitoring of agents causing the disease, Phu said.

From September 2012 to date, WHO has been informed of a total of 496 laboratory-confirmed cases of infections with MERS-CoV worldwide.

The organisation encourages all its member nations to continue their surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections and to carefully review any unusual patterns.

It said that infection prevention and control measures are critical in preventing the possible spread of MERS-CoV in health care facilities, and that health-care facilities that provide for patients suspected or confirmed to be infected with MERS-CoV infection should take appropriate measures to decrease the risk of transmission of the virus from an infected patient to others.-VNA