Vietnam’s Health Ministry is training medical workers, and outfitting hospitals to serve as the front line in a possible fight against the Ebola virus, an official said.
Though no cases of the virus have been reported in Vietnam, the ministry has started offering trainings on treatment regimens to healthcare workers at facilities throughout the country, Tran Dac Phu, head of the Preventive Health Department at the ministry, said at a meeting on Friday, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported.
The paper quoted Phu as saying that all hospitals assigned to receive Ebola patients have received adequate protective equipment for their staff.
Vietnam started ramping up its Ebola defenses after hearing of complicated developments in the deadly hemorrhagic fever worldwide, officials said at a meeting attended by deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam.
There have been around 1,000 new cases every week for the past four weeks, according to global reports. More than 4,000, or 70 percent of the infected cases have resulted in fatalities.
Collecting medical declaration forms from international arrivals and measuring body temperatures at airports remains Vietnam’s primary strategy for catching any infected persons before they are introduced to the general population.
A ministry report at the meeting listed 270 arrivals from West Africa to Vietnam in the past two months (most of them Nigerians) through Tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City.
Almost none have come from the hardest hit New Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone--or the two other afflicted countries Congo and Senegal, the report said.
Vietnam has few labor and commercial relations with those countries, it noted.
Travelers disembarking from the US and Spain, where two health workers were struck by the virus after caring for Ebola patients this month, do not have to present health certificates in Vietnam, yet.
The infections were the first recorded outside Africa and have raised questions about whether there was a lapse in disease control protocols.
Ebola is transmitted through direct contact with the blood, bodily fluids and tissue of infected animals or people.
Experts from the World Health Organization and the US’s Centers of Disease Prevention and Control said they'e seen no evidence to confirm fears that the disease has become airborne.