Date: 17 Oct 2018
Source: Vietnam.net [edited]
Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long has voiced concern over the complicated development of hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) in the coming days if preventive measures are not effectively adopted. To date [17 Oct 2018], all provinces and cities across the country have reported multiple cases of this infectious disease, Lao Dong newspaper reported.
The Ministry of Health asked local authorities to provide guidance, organize campaigns aimed at fighting the spread of the disease and encourage local residents to join efforts to manage the disease. Besides this, healthcare agencies must actively follow up on the disease's development and map out solutions to quickly detect and address infectious cases.
Data from the General Department of Preventive Medicine, under the ministry, show that the country reported 53 529 infected people as of September 2018, down 25.3% year-on-year. Of these cases, more than 25 800 were admitted to hospitals, down some 20% versus the year-ago period, and 6 people died of the disease in 5 provinces and cities in the south.
However, HCMC, Hanoi, Long An, Dong Nai, Binh Duong, Danang and Quang Ngai have seen a surging number of HFMD patients in recent weeks.
In HCMC, nearly 400 infected people were admitted to hospitals between 28 Sep and 4 Oct 2018, raising the total number of HFMD inpatients in the city to more than 4000 cases in the January to September  period, according to the municipal Preventive Medicine Center.
Meanwhile, Pediatrics Hospital in Can Tho City has admitted nearly 500 infected children during the first 2 weeks of October , doubling the figure of the year-ago period.
Notably, in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai, the Kindergarten May 1, which is in Ia Yok Commune, Ia Grai District, had to shut down temporarily to prevent the disease from spreading after as many as 27 children were infected. According to the Ia Grai Health Division, the number of HFMD patients is rapidly increasing, amounting to 40 cases at the start of this month [October 2018], mainly found in the Ia Yok Commune.
Apart from that, Quang Ngai Obstetrics and Pediatrics Hospital in the central region is heavily overloaded because of HFMD. Statistics from the provincial Center for Disease Control revealed that more than 1300 infected cases have been recorded this year , up 2-fold against last year's  figure.
As the number of HFMD patients is escalating across the country, many hospitals are overloaded and working at full capacity to cope with the disease. The health ministry has called on the local people, especially mothers, to actively adopt preventive measures in their daily activities, such as washing their hands with soap, sterilizing home appliances regularly and paying attention to personal and public hygiene.