Virus may appear in Vietnam given the high passenger flow between South Korea and the country.
Following the appearance of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in many countries the Ministry of Health has organized interdisciplinary meetings to discuss measures to prevent the virus appearing in Vietnam.
According to CNN there are now 25 people infected with MERS-CoV in South Korea, with two fatalities. “Due to the high number of people travelling between Vietnam and South Korea, along with large numbers of arrivals from the Middle East, MERS-CoV may pose a threat to Vietnam,” said Mr. Tran Dac Phu, Head of the General Department of Preventive Medicine at the Ministry of Health.
Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long also requested the health sector cooperate with the Immigration Management Department, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, and the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam to strengthen surveillance and prevent MERS-CoV from spreading.
“We need to monitor all border gates by using health declaration forms and temperature measurements, especially for arrivals from South Korea and Bahrain,” said Deputy Minister Long. “Health declaration forms must be printed in English and Korean and passengers are requested to complete the forms on the aircraft.”
According to Mr. Phu, MERS-CoV is quite similar to the SARS virus, which appeared in 2003. It has a high chance of fatality, at nearly 40 per cent, and is said to last longer in a person’s system than Ebola, as it originated from camel meat and milk products and is not easily eliminated.