Vietnam’s health ministry has warned that acute diarrhoea poses a threat to the coming Lunar New Year festival in February, following 17 cases of infections in Hanoi capital since the outbreak in the country was announced to have ended on December 25, 2007, local newspaper Vietnam News reported Wednesday January 9.
Health minister Nguyen Quoc Trieu on Tuesday asked all localities to deal with the re-emergence of the disease by implementing inspections on food hygiene and safety, water supplies, and food processing workshops, especially those processing shrimp paste and raw vegetables. He also called for a serious response to any hygiene violations to ensure a healthy festival.
In his urgent message, Trieu urged strict supervision to find and treat acute diarrhoea patients in a timely manner. City and provincial People’s Committees had to take responsibility if widespread outbreaks occurred in their territories, he said.
Trieu also called for a public awareness campaign on food safety and hygiene with the help of the mass media.
Last October, acute diarrhoea spread to 13 provinces and cities in Vietnam. Hanoi suffered the most with a majority of cases. There were about 2,000 cases with no fatalities in the capital, said the newspaper.