Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has instructed ministries, sectors and localities to keep a close watch on the situation of diseases so as to have timely measures in case the diseases occur.

At a teleconference in Hanoi on January 2 on works to prevent diseases in 2013 and plans for 2014, Dam affirmed the need to prevent the smuggling of poultry, cattle and their body parts as a way to stop the spread of diseases, ensure food safety and protect people’s health.

Ministries and sectors were urged to improve inspections and handle smuggling cases firmly, as well as canvass people to participate in the fight against smuggling.

The Deputy PM suggested the Health Ministry should raise people’s awareness of preventive measures, and check the living environments and eating habits of people to work with other agencies to carry out campaigns on protecting their health.

According to the Health Ministry, 2013 saw decreases in the number of infectious disease cases and fatalities.

It timely reported to the Prime Minister the disease situation and developments, as well as successfully coordinated with the People’s Committees of provinces and cities in implementing preventive measures.

However, infectious epidemics are unpredictable and occur inside and outside the country.

The ministry asked the Government to set up a National Steering Committee on preventing diseases, and strictly quarantine people and animals at border gates to stop the penetration of dangerous diseases.-VNA