By Riyaz ul Khaliq
ANKARA (AA) - Vietnam on Wednesday declared the infectious COVID-19 disease a nationwide epidemic, local media reported.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc signed the official declaration widening social distancing measures to stem spread of the deadly infection which has killed over 42,000 people globally.
The decision was taken after more imported cases of coronavirus were reported in the country, daily Vietnam News reported.
The South East Asian country has 212 cases of coronavirus. At least 58 people have recovered form the disease.
The decision requires health quarantine, monitoring of affected areas, mobilization of resources in society to fight the disease while extending international cooperation and setting up field hospitals when required.
- Global situation
After originating in Wuhan, China last December, the virus has spread to at least 180 countries and regions across the world, with its epicenter shifting to Europe, while China has largely come out of the crisis.
The virus infected over 862,000 people worldwide, while some 178,800 people recovered from the disease, according to data compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.
Despite the rising number of cases, most people who get infected suffer only mild symptoms and make a recovery.