The northern mountainous province of Ha Giang and southern Tay Ninh province have introduced tough measures to thwart poultry smuggling during the upcoming Lunar New Year (Tet) festival in a bid to prevent the spread of bird flu in their border areas.

The strain of H7N9 virus appeared in several Chinese provinces which border with Ha Giang and the strain of H5N1 virus was spotted in some Cambodian provinces which border with Tay Ninh, therefore, they face high risks of bird influenza infection.

The provinces’ health sector strengthened supervision to quickly detect disease cases, while asking preventative medical centres to manage people who enter Vietnamese provinces from neighbouring countries.

According to Director of Ha Giang’s Department of Public Health Tran Duc Quy, quarantine units at border gates, health centres and hospitals in the province arranged doctors and health workers to manage cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome and pneumonia in communities, thus making diagnoses more quickly and applying treatment without delay to minimise fatalities.

All medical stations and general hospitals in 11 districts and cities have made necessary preparations in terms of medical equipment and medicine in case the disease arrives.

Localities have been ordered to keep a close watch on the situation and absolutely remove any pockets of disease, reporting to Ha Giang’s health department to deploy prevention measures where necessary.

The Department of Industry and Trade, the customs office, public security officials, and the High Command of border armies in Ha Giang and Tay Ninh have also been urged to effectively implement poultry market management by seizing illegally traded poultry crossing border areas.

The two health departments have also intensified the popularisation of information on avian influenza risks to local people, encouraging them to well implement sanitation and decontamination to ensure food safety, thus reducing the risk of the disease spreading, especially in the Tet holidays-VNA