The virus has been reported in 30 out of 31 cities and provinces of China, and spread to 18 countries and territories worldwide.
No vaccine or specific treatment for 2019-nCoV infection is available. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has assessed the public health risk of this virus to be very high in China, and high at the regional and global levels.
In Vietnam, two Chinese nationals have tested positive for nCoV and the country is facing high risks of being affected by this dangerous and rapidly spreading acute respiratory disease since it is a popular destination of Chinese tourists and shares a long borderline with China.
In Directive No. 05/CT-TTg dated January 28, PM Phuc said the prevention and control of the virus must be regarded as the fight against an enemy, and requested agencies, organisations and individuals to seriously observe the Law on the Exit and Entry of Vietnamese Citizens, the Law on Health Examination and Treatment, and the Law on Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases, while banning wildlife trade.
The fight needs the engagement of the entire political system in order to protect public health and life, he stressed.
The leader urged the Ministry of Health to continue instructing localities and agencies to step up the supervision work in order to detect infections early, keep a close watch on the situation and set forth countermeasures.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism needs to instruct travel companies to cancel tours to affected cities and provinces and monitor health conditions of Chinese tourists in Vietnam.
The supervision must be carried out right at border gates, he said, asking the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of National Defence to join hands with the health sector in this regard.
Under the Directive, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will coordinate with the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs to define the number of Vietnamese nationals in the nCoV-ravaged areas, and inform foreign diplomatic agencies about foreigners infected with the virus in Vietnam.
The PM also emphasised the need to enhance the communication work to raise public awareness of the disease and assigned Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam as head of a steering committee for nCoVprevention and control.
A team will also be set up, with members from relevant ministries, to promptly deal with urgent issues emerging in the combat against nCoV.