Health sector opens new training courses against MERS-CoV

The Ministry of Health has asked health departments across the country to increase training courses for doctors and nurses to proactively cope with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) as it develops.

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The ministry requested health departments build and implement action plans to deal with the disease. All health workers participated in drills to enhance their capacity to discover the symptoms of the disease for prompt isolation, taking samples for testing and treatment.

The municipal and provincial People’s Committees have directed health stations to raise local awareness of hospital regulations and enhance inspection at border gates, health clinics, and in the community.

The Department of Information and Communication together with the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism; the Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs; and Foreign Offices are responsible for coordinating with the health sector to update the public about virus developments and prevention measures.

MERS-CoV, first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012, belongs to the family of corona viruses which also includes SARS which haunted Asia in 2003. It has a much higher fatality rate than SARS and there is no cure or vaccine.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), a total of 1,357 MERS-CoV cases, including 486 deaths, have been reported to date.

In the Republic of Korea (RoK), where the virus has been raging, no new infections have been reported for four straight days, indicating the MERS outbreak may be nearing the end.

Vietnam has so far not had any MERS-CoV incidences.

Based on the current situation, the WHO encourages all member states to continue their surveillance for acute respiratory infections and carefully review any unusual patterns.

Infection prevention and control measures are critical to prevent the possible spread of the disease in healthcare facilities, it advised.

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