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Health Ministry tells people not to panic about coronavirus
The Saigon Times Daily
Wednesday,  Feb 5, 2020,20:29 (GMT+7)

Health Ministry tells people not to panic about coronavirus

The Saigon Times Daily

Health quarantine staff monitor arriving and departing passengers amid the coronavirus outbreak - PHOTO: VNA

HCMC - The Ministry of Health, speaking at a press conference held in Hanoi today, February 5, urged the public not to panic about a new coronavirus.

Nguyen Thanh Long, deputy minister of Health, said China is pinning high hopes on Vietnam’s solutions to control the virus, as new cases of infection had shown signs of declining and the number of patients recovering from the disease had picked up, reported Tuoi Tre newspaper.

It is a new coronavirus, a family of viruses that include the common cold and more serious diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). This virus family has triggered three epidemics since 2003, namely SARS, MERS-CoV, and the Wuhan pneumonia, Long said.

The 2019-nCoV virus can be transmitted via droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It cannot live in the air long but can stick for a while on wooden, stone and iron surfaces. People could contract the virus if they touch these surfaces by hand and then touch their eyes, nose, or mouth.

Thus, the deputy minister of health advised people to wash their hands regularly.

Further, people should avoid visiting crowded places and having close contact with those suspected of infection. Moreover, they are recommended to use cleaning agents to keep tables, tools and floors clean.

Infected people with minor symptoms or a slight fever, or mild muscle pains, could still transmit the virus to other persons in close contact, he said.

Face masks are not the only solution to avoiding infection as wearing a face mask cannot absolutely prevent the user from being infected, he noted.

However, the virus is dead when it is exposed to sunlight or ultraviolet light beams, or in a windy environment. In areas like the Central Highlands, it is not necessary to wear masks at all times, said the deputy minister.

Long said most of the coronavirus cases in Vietnam are not serious and three out of the 10 confirmed cases in the country have been discharged from hospital.

Vietnam has taken strict measures to prevent the virus spread. Three flights from China arrived at Van Don International Airport in Quang Ninh Province, but the number of arriving passengers was small and all of them will be put in quarantine for 14 days before they can leave the airport.

The most important thing to do right now is to quarantine all patients and those suspected of being infected with the coronavirus at hospitals.

According to experts, the epidemic in China could peak in the next seven to 10 days. Therefore, Vietnam must get prepared to respond.

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