The Ministry of Health (MoH) requested on June 17 that health authorities throughout the country assign round-the-clock on duty staff to prevent an outbreak of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in Vietnam.

Departments of Health across the country were urged to make a detailed list of local health care institutions that should be involved.

Departments of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs, and relevant bodies are to implement measures to raise awareness of how to prevent and control the disease in industrial and processing zones, as well as construction sites, especially among workers from the Republic of Korea and the Middle East.

Tourists, migrant workers and Vietnamese nationals entering Vietnam from the affected areas are advised to make a health declaration upon arrival at border gates. They should also monitor their health status within 14 days of returning from an affected area, and alert local health care centres if symptoms occur.

Localities at all levels should keep a close watch over vulnerable residents and enhance their understanding of disease prevention and control measures.

According to the World Health Organisation, as of June 17 the virus has spread to 26 countries with 1,329 patients, 466 of whom have died.

Eight new cases were reported in the RoK, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 162 with 19 deaths.

No cases have been reported in Vietnam so far.-VNA