Dispatch of Second Japan Disaster Relief Expert Team to Vietnam for Epidemic Outbreak of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome

March 25, 2003

  1. In addition to a Japan Disaster Relief Expert Team comprising three members, the Government of Japan decided on March 24 to send another team of three to replace the first, to provide advice and instruction particularly on infection control to Vietnam which is suffering an epidemic of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that broke out in the country. The second team will be dispatched from March 26 (Wed) to April 1 (Tue).

  2. According to the announcement by the WHO (World Health Organization), as of March 18 there were 219 persons worldwide who were reported to be "suspected" or "probable" cases of SARS, which was developed mainly in Vietnam and Hong Kong, and about 60 persons out of 219 have developed the disease in Vietnam.
        Taking this situation very seriously, the Government of Vietnam has established a government-wide system to respond to the situation, such as setting up on March 13 the Special Task Force with the deputy minister for Health as the Head and on March 19 the National Steering Committee for the prevention of SARS. The Government of Vietnam has recently requested Japan to dispatch more medical experts as replacement.

  3. The Government of Japan has decided to dispatch three new members of the Japan Disaster Relief Expert Team to Vietnam, from a humanitarian point of view for the sake of the SARS victims and in light of the friendly relations between Japan and Vietnam.

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