In a document issued by the Government Office on January 16th, Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam told the agencies to closely monitor the development of the disease in China and strengthen medical quarantine at border gates, airports and seaports.

The Ministry of Health holds an urgent meeting on January 15th discussing measures to cope with the disease and deal with if any infections (Photo: VNA)

The Deputy PM assigned the Ministry of Health to urgently issue an action plan to respond to the disease following current regulations and recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The ministry had to ensure sufficient facilities and medical materials, as well as make sure staff is properly trained, he added.

The Ministry of Information and Communications was required to cooperate with the Ministry of Health to provide timely and accurate information on the disease’s developments.

According to the WHO, cases of acute pneumonia caused by nCoV were reported in Wuhan city of China’s Hubei province. The first patient developed symptoms on December 12th, 2019. The number of cases reached 59 as of January 15th.

The first death from the virus occurred in Wuhan on January 9th. The second person, a 69-year-old man, died on January 16th in Wuhan.

Two other cases have been detected in Thailand and Japan with health authorities in both countries saying the patients had visited Wuhan prior to their hospitalisation./.