By Nguyen Thi Ngoc Ha
HANOI, June 1 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam's Ministry of Health on Monday sent an urgent message to 24 municipalities and provinces to require these localities to take swift measures to control and prevent the spread of the A/H1N1 flu which was confirmed to be present in Vietnam.
The message followed the three confirmed human cases of A/H1N1 flu in Vietnam. Of the three, the first 23 year-old Vietnamese case was said to have shared with other 188 passengers of a United Airlines flight coded UA 869 coming back from the U.S. These 188 passengers are now living in 24 cities and provinces nationwide.
The movements of these 188 passengers would have to be put under strict surveillance for seven days, said the ministry.
The ministry also encouraged local people to engage in preventing the flu outbreak, including keeping their bodies and working environments clean, actively isolating themselves when having fever, cough and sore throat after having been to affected areas, and reporting all suspected cases to health agencies.
Meanwhile, the Pharmaceutical Management Department of Vietnam's Ministry of Health also asked provincial health departments and other pharmaceutical units to be ready for providing Tamiflu doses for A/H1N1 patients.
The department said that it would be on duty around the clock to cope with any procedures relating to medicine for treatment of A/H1N1 patients.
In case that Vietnam's hospitals are overloaded with A/H1N1 patients, Vietnam would ask for support from the World Health Organization, said Deputy Minister of Health Trinh Quan Huan.
Vietnam has received an increasing number of passengers from the infected areas around the world these days though the official statistics have not been calculated, said the ministry.
In response to the current situation, health departments of Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh city and Da Nang central province and Hai Phong northern of Vietnam, which are listed as pots of the country's most likely detected areas, sped up inspection and surveillance at all airports, border gates and ports.
Apart from 100 thermometers performing at full capacity and the two current body-temperature checker, Hanoi International Airport will be equipped with two more machines in the next few days, ensuring not to miss out any suspected case.
Meanwhile, Ho Chi Minh City has prepared 200 beds to treat A/H1N1 patients.