The information was announced during a meeting of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control in Hanoi on April 27.
Vietnam has followed two main methods of coronavirus testing, using the Real-Time-PCR and antibody diagnosis.
Real-Time-PCR is now being implemented in a number of localities nationwide, although it is largely dependent on the diagnostic biological products produced by different units. Indeed, the Vietnam Military Medical University has recently developed biological products aimed at serving as PCR diagnosis.
Elsewhere, foreign biological products have largely been provided by the World Health Organization and the US Centres for Disease and Control. Due to a scarcity of biological products globally, the country’s domestically made COVID-19 test kits, which have been jointly developed by the Vietnam Military Medical University and Viet A Company, act as one of the key biological products licensed by the Ministry of Health for use.
Simultaneously, the ‘Made-in-Vietnam’ test kits have been recognised by the British Department of Health and Social Care and the World Health Organization and will be put into circulation worldwide due to their sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy,
The antibody diagnosis method is deemed appropriate in the event that the virus is widely spread within a community due to health workers needing to trace and identify outbreaks as a means of zoning off infected cases that display no clinical symptoms.
Currently, the Central Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology has been co-operating with Japan’s Nagasaki University to develop serological diagnostic bio-products by using the Elisa machine.
The country’s health system has plenty of Elisa machines available that had previously been purchased to diagnose dengue, HIV/AIDS, and immune diseases.
By utilising the bio-products in the Elisa machine, both the sensitivity and accuracy rate has risen to between 90% and 95% out of 100 cases. In contrast with other countries, the Republic of Korea's (RoK) rapid test kits have an accuracy of approximately 70% out of 100 cases.
As a result of this development, Vietnam is now one of only five countries that is capable of producing this biological product, alongside China, Japan, the RoK, and the United States.
Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long emphasised that the product is applicable and can be easily used at health facilities which operate at grassroot levels with health workers receiving basic training to use the Elisa machine.
Long said Vietnam is no longer required to purchase similar additional machines and can reuse existing equipment, noting that the bio-product represents a safe tool for employees to use due to its very low risk of contamination within the laboratory.
During the past week, the country has also received a Eliciae MV20 ventilator manufactured by Japanese firm Metran.
According to the Ministry of Health, the Metran-made ventilators are compatible to treat the COVID-19, but further clinical trials are needed in order to evaluate the effectiveness and technical features of the device.
As a result, the Japanese company has transferred the technology procedures of the Eliciae MV20 ventilator to the nation so it can be manufactured locally.
Long expected the country to produce ventilators that are capable of meeting local demands to treat patients with the COVID-19 in the future, together with the Eliciae MV20 ventilator and other ventilators manufactured by VinGroup.
During the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, Chairman of the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control, applauded these successful studies, noting that the Ministry of Health has sent sample machines to support health facilities at grassroots levels.