The Ministry of Health has urged border localities to prevent Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) from entering Vietnam.

The ministry has called on health departments to work with the People’s Committees of localities to take comprehensive preventive measures at international border gates.

Staff at border posts must closely monitor the epidemic situation to promptly detect cases of infections, especially vulnerable individuals.

Training courses are to be conducted for health staff and health care facilities will be ready to ensure the prevention and control of the disease.

The ministry has also called for the wide participation of ministries, sectors, social organisations and communities in the work.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), by May 20, a total of 1,119 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS-CoV infections had been recorded across 25 countries and territories worldwide, and 423 people had died.

MERS-CoV belongs to a family of corona viruses that include SARS, which haunted Asia in 2003.

It can spread between people and cause symptoms including fever, breathing problems, pneumonia and kidney failure.

The death rate of people confirmed to have the virus infection is about 51 percent. No vaccine is available so far.-VNA