The Ministry of Health is stepping up efforts to prevent the Ebola virus from entering Vietnam.

Speaking at an online conference of the Steering Committee for Epidemic Prevention and Control on August 6, Tran Dac Phu, head of the ministry’s Department of Preventive Medicine, warned that the virus could enter the country.

This could be through Vietnamese and others arriving from affected countries.

Phu said the Ebola rate was disastrous in West Africa. The World Health Organisation said the virus had already killed 932 people.

The ministry has advised the Government on its preparations and asked that all border gates seek medical information from those passing through.

The National Hospital of Tropical Diseases is working on a plan for diagnosis and treatment of Ebola. The ministry has worked with the WHO to ask for technical assistance in diagnosing the disease.

Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien also asked all agencies to tighten inspections at hospitals and border gates.

She also warned Vietnamese to stop travelling to affected countries.

Suspected samples of the disease can be sent to the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology and Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh City.

Also on the day, Nguyen Khac Hien, Director of the Hanoi Department of Health, asked the Centre for International Health and Quarantine in Hanoi to increase monitoring and to stay on the alert.

In HCM City, Nguyen Huu Hung, Deputy Director of the municipal Health Department, instructed relevant units to intensify surveillance and take preventive measures.

The department is keeping a close watch and strengthening quarantine at Tan Son Nhat International Airport, international ports and border gates.-VNA