Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on February 14 sent a dispatch to ministries, top-level agencies and localities, asking them to make every effort in the fight against avian influenza.

In the dispatch, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development who is also the head of the National Steering Committee for Bird Flu Prevention and Control was requested to offer guidance to localities throughout the struggle.

There is an urgent need to establish inspection teams to promote anti-bird flu efforts at localities, especially those vulnerable to the disease in the northern region, the dispatch said.

PM Dung also requested the Health Ministry to closely check the implementation of preventive measures against A/H7N9 bird flu and other types of flu viruses.

Ministries, branches and localities were asked to promptly devise plans in preparation for the outbreak of new strains of avian flu viruses while spreading information about the danger.

Poultry breeders and traders should be well aware of hygiene requirements, disinfection procedures and safety breeding models in order to lessen the risks of infection and virus outbreaks.

The leader urged competent agencies to take samples of poultry at markets to detect avian influenza in a swift manner, while also closely inspecting poultry trading in each locality.

He further noted that the transportation and marketing of untreated poultry and poultry products of Chinese origin are prohibited.

Meanwhile, it is a must for media agencies to inform the population about the development of the disease in a timely and accurate manner, he said.

According to the World Health Organisation, A/H7N9 avian influenza struck 147 people in mainly China and Hong Kong and Taiwan in 2013, leading to 47 deaths. Vietnam’s neighbour China has, so far this year, reported 190 new cases, including 19 deaths.

In Vietnam, A/H5N1 hit several localities, killing two persons in the southern provinces of Binh Phuoc and Dong Thap.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations has warned there is a high risk that A/H7N9 would penetrate Vietnam through northern provinces and those that market illegally imported poultry of unidentified origin.-VNA