HANOI, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, relevant agencies and localities to take prompt measures to control African swine fever (ASF) in Vietnam, Vietnam News Agency reported on Friday.
The prime minister ordered chairpersons of provincial and municipal people's committees to issue instructions and treat all the affected areas completely to prevent new cases, and steering committees must be founded with detailed duties for every member to improve inspections and supervision.
The steering committees must keep a close watch on border gates and slaughterhouses, and educate local people on preventive measures.
The agriculture ministry is responsible for connecting with relevant international organizations and countries to carry out joint measures to prevent the spread of the disease.
In Vietnam, ASF was discovered in the two northern provinces of Hung Yen and Thai Binh.
The agriculture's Department of Animal Health on Thursday assigned eight laboratories across Vietnam to administer free-of-charge gene tests for ASF.
Pham Van Dong, director of the department, said the quick and exact gene tests were an effective step in preventing and controlling the disease, as well as limited economic losses and environmental impacts.
Cases of ASF have occurred in 20 countries and nearly 1.1 million pigs have been culled to prevent its spread, according to the World Organization for Animal Health.
According to the organization, ASF is a severe viral disease affecting domestic and wild pigs; and it can be spread by live or dead pigs, domestic or wild, and pork products. Now, there is no approved vaccine against ASF.
ASF virus does not affect humans but causes hemorrhagic fever in pigs and wild boars that is almost always fatal.