Health Ministry: Vietnam has enough biological products for COVID-19 testing

Tuesday, 2020-03-31 16:10:11
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Health workers in Hai Phong City operate an automatic Real time RT-PCR molecular biology machine to serve COVID-19 testing. (Photo: NDO/Ngo Quang Dung)
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NDO – The Ministry of Health (MoH) has said that it has purchased 100,000 antigen-testing bio-products (to test for the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2), ensuring the country has enough bio-products to diagnose and expand testing for all citizens.

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According to the ministry, next month Vietnam will add an additional 100,000 bio-testing devices of this kind. Localities in need are urged to immediately make a report on quantity to the MoH’s Preventive Medicine Department in order to be supplied.

In addition, the ministry will also purchase 200,000 quick coronavirus test kits to prioritise testing for 37,000 people in isolation camps, as well as tens of thousands in home isolation and those who have been to Hanoi’s Bach Mai Hospital from March 12 until now. This is the antibody test bio-product recommended for use up to seven days after potentially having been exposed to the pathogen.

The MoH has distributed 20 Real time RT-PCR machines to localities, with about 20 more expected in the immediate future, which allow local health sectors to carry out testing immediately without having to depend on the central administration.

In addition to 24 establishments recognised capable for COVID-19 testing by the MoH, other facilities nationwide can conduct the tests themselves without a license from the ministry. However, if the sample is found to be positive, the establishment must send it to specialised institutes for re-testing and confirmation, the MoH suggested.

A representative from the ministry also said that it was agreed that if tests from persons having contact with confirmed cases (F1) are negative, their close contacts (F2) do not have to perform medical isolation, adding that the COVID-19 prevention strategy in Vietnam has now shifted to the new stage of expanding testing, on-site isolation, and comprehensively stamping out the disease.