A medical declaration will be applied to people who enter into Vietnam from Middle Eastern countries from July 1, according to the Ministry of Health.

This move is considered as a practical measure to prevent the spread of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) infection, which is developing unpredictably over the world.

Accordingly, the regulations will be implemented at three international airports: Tan Son Nhat in Ho Chi Minh City, Noi Bai in Hanoi and Da Nang. Passengers on flights from nine countries in the Middle East - Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Yemen, Kuwait, Lebanon, Jordan and Iran - will be obliged to complete the declaration forms.

The ministry also requires the international health quarantine centres in Hanoi, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City to distribute declaration forms in Vietnamese and English to passengers.

Quarantine staff will be responsible for checking declarations and confirming these. Those who are suspected of suffering from the illness will be isolated immediately and receive preliminary checkups and tests.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), by June 16, a total of 701 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS-CoV infections had been recorded worldwide, and 249 people had died.

The WHO encourages all its member nations to continue their surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections and to carefully review any unusual patterns.

It said that infection prevention and control measures are critical in preventing the possible spread of MERS-CoV in healthcare facilities, which should take appropriate measures to ease the risk of transmission of the virus from an infected patient to others.-VNA