HANOI, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam has inaugurated its most modern bio-safety laboratory in the capital, which allows the country to test dangerous viral infections by bird flu virus strain H5N1 and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), the Vietnam News reported Wednesday.
The bio-safety level 3 laboratory managed by Vietnam's National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology 'will help strengthen the ability of Vietnamese health workers quickly detect and respond to problems caused by bird flu and SARS, and protect Vietnamese researchers from the dangerous viruses in the working environment,' said the institute's director Nguyen Tran Hien.
Vietnam used to send specimens from dangerous viral infections to foreign laboratories for testing, he noted.
Construction of the Vietnamese laboratory was made with the Japanese fund of nearly 8 million U.S. dollars.
Vietnam has reported a total of 101 human cases of bird flu infections, including 47 fatalities, since the disease started to hit the country in December 2003. The latest case was reported in December 2007, according to the Vietnamese Ministry of Health.