Priority will be given to 37,000 people who have been put into isolation along with those who have visited Bach Mai Hospital – a recently found coronavirus hotspot in Hanoi - since March 12, Dr Nguyen Thanh Long announced at an online meeting held between the Ministry of Health (MoH) and 300 representatives of northern and central localities on March 29.
The health official assured the meeting that Vietnam has enough bio-products for conducting COVID-19 tests, including both real time RT-PCR and rapid tests. He noted that rapid tests should be used within seven days of being exposed to the pathogen.
As a result of these imports, by March 30 the Ministry of Health is expected to have 100,000 biological products capable of testing for the COVID-19, with further plans to purchase an additional 100,000 biological items in April.
In addition to securing extra COVID-19 test kits, the ministry has also granted 20 real time PCR machines to localities, enabling them to take the initiative when it comes to conducting tests and are set to provide a further 20 machines in the near future.
At present there are 24 laboratories nationwide that are capable of detecting positive COVID-19 cases, while other locations are able to send positive samples to these facilities in order to get confirmation.
Deputy Minister Long underlined the need to initiate zoning off measures, quarantine potential cases, and to provide timely treatment for COVID-19 patients as part of the overall strategy to combat the epidemic moving forward.
Moreover, there have also been COVID-19 test kits produced domestically, with the Military Medical Academy and Viet A Technology Joint Stock Company successfully researching and developing them. Following this, the ministry moved to license the biological products before putting them into mass production.