The Ministry of Health has tightened epidemic prevention measures amid the threat posed by dangerous diseases such as of the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, dengue fever, hand-foot-mouth and avian influenza.

At a meeting of the Steering Committee for Epidemic Prevention and Control on July 2, Deputy Minister Nguyen Thanh Long stressed that this is a top priority of the health sector at present.

He required hospitals to review the treatment guidance for diseases and make appropriate update, while calling for the mass media’s help in spreading information on disease prevention measures.

Mentioning the risk of the spread of MERS-CoV to Vietnam, the deputy minister said as from July 1, people who enter Vietnam from Middle Eastern countries through three international airports of Tan Son Nhat in Ho Chi Minh City, Noi Bai in Hanoi and Da Nang in the central city of Da Nang have been required to fill out a health declaration.

A team of the Ministry of Health on July 1 inspected international quarantine work and the implementation of health declaration for arrivals at Noi Bai Airport.

According to head of the Preventive Health Department Tran Dac Phu, 669 laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with MERS-CoV were reported to the World Health Organisation, including 209 deaths as of June 11, no case has been detected in Vietnam so far.

Phu also reported that the numbers of cases of other contagious diseases have dropped compared to the same period last year.

No infection of influenza A (H7N9) has been reported in Vietnam, but two deaths from A(H5/N1) were recorded in the southern provinces of Binh Phuoc and Dong Thap.

Meanwhile, the incidence of hand-foot-mouth disease fell 5.6 percent year on year, he noted.

Since the beginning of this year, the country counted 11,520 dengue cases in 42 cities and province nationwide, a decrease of 47.4 percent against the same time in 2013. Seven deaths were reported in Ho Chi Minh City , Binh Duong, Ca Mau, Binh Phuoc and Phu Yen.

Meanwhile, 334 viral encephalitis cases have been diagnosed so far this year in 31 cities and province, down 14.2 percent year on year.

The health ministry continues to expand vaccination campaigns, and plans to launch a new measles-Rubella vaccination drive targeting children from 1-14 years old in September.-VNA