HANOI, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam has reported outbreaks of A/ H5N1 avian flu in eight provinces across the country, according to the website of the Department of Animal Health under Vietnam's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) on Saturday.
Specifically, avian flu outbreaks have occurred in Nam Dinh province in northern Vietnam, and provinces including Ca Mau, Dak Lak, Khanh Hoa, Kon Tum, Long An, Quang Ngai and Tay Ninh in central and southern region.
Since the end of the Lunar New Year Festival, authorities in Vietnam's central provinces have culled as many as 30,000 infected poultries. Quang Ngai province is currently being a hotspot of the epidemic with more than 5,000 poultries culled so far.
Over 2,500 poultries in southern Long An province were also disposed, said the department.
Meanwhile, other provinces are also being put on high alert over the risks of avian flu outbreak, as some 4 million poultries in Quang Nam province have not been vaccinated against the disease yet, according to Quang Nam Veterinary Department.
In less than three weeks, Vietnamese Prime Minister (PM) has urgently issued two dispatches to authorities at all levels from ministries to sectors and localities over the spread of the disease.
Accordingly, in the latest message sent earlier on Friday, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung urged the establishment of inspection teams to promote anti-bird flu efforts at localities, especially those vulnerable to the epidemic.
The dispatch requested the minister of MARD, who is also the head of the National Steering Committee for Bird Flu Prevention and Control, to take immediate action to prevent the transfer of avian flu to human.
So far this year, Vietnam has reported two cases of human death from A/H5N1 avian flu in southern Binh Phuoc and Dong Thap provinces.
The prime minister urged competent agencies to take samples of poultry at markets to detect avian influenza in a swift manner, while also closely inspecting poultry trading in each locality, reported Vietnam's state-run news agency.
The World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization have also warned about the risk of A/H7N9 avian flu penetrating Vietnam through northern provinces.