The Ministry of Public Health has proposed buying an extra 1.2 million doses of measles vaccines as the outbreak has so far claimed 133 lives across the nation through both direct infection and complications linked to the disease.

The suggestion was made during its meeting with the Steering Committee for the Prevention and Control of Dangerous and Emerging Diseases in Hanoi on April 24.

Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien hailed the Hanoi medical sector for its effective vaccination campaign, with 97 percent of children given shots, promising that no new case will emerge in the next two weeks.

Le Thanh Hai, Director of the National Hospital of Paediatrics, said the daily number of those seeking check-ups has plunged to 200-300 from 2,500-3,000. However, his hospital is still treating over 300 severe measles-linked cases, a high figure, he added.

The capital city remains a hotbed of the disease, with over 700 patients receiving hospital treatment, said Deputy Director of the Hanoi Health Department Hoang Duc Hanh.

The same day, the department joined a teleconference with 27 municipal units, in which it stated that as of April 22 Hanoi had recorded 1,339 cases of measles during this outbreak, leading to the deaths of 54 people as either a direct result of the virus or else from complications caused by it.

Also on April 24, the ministry asked municipal and provincial health departments to offer more rounds of vaccination, ensuring that over 95 percent of children in the country are fully immunised by late April.

Local hospitals must set up more isolation areas and minimise bacterial contamination. Meanwhile, central hospitals are required to offer treatment guidance to satellite and local units and make daily reports on their treatment.

The institutes of hygiene and epidemiology and the Institute of Pasteur must provide enough vaccines and all necessary equipment along the way, the ministry said.

According to the Department of Preventive Medicine, the nation has reported 3,609 measles cases across 61 out of 63 cities and provinces since early this year. The number of new cases is on the decline in localities.-VNA