Making news

Hanoi to conduct real-time PCR testing on large scale to tackle COVID-19

Hanoi has announced a plan to carry out large-scale real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests starting from August 7 on local people who arrived home from COVID-19 hotspot Da Nang between July 15 and 29. The announcement was made at an online meeting between the central Government and localities on the same day. Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung said the move followed the capital discovering its fourth COVID-19 case in the community - a woman from outlying Phuc Tho district who visited Da Nang with seven others between July 24 and 27. According to Chung, 50,000 people will be tested and the task is expected to be completed in 10 to 12 days. The Hanoi Centre for Disease Control and four centrally-run hospitals in the capital are capable of collecting 10,000 samples and testing 5,000 on a daily basis. Chung said the capital is also speeding up the examination of “F1” people (those having close contact with others who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2) and “F2” people (those interacting with F1 people). F1 are subject to real-time PCR tests and concentrated quarantine, while F2 must practice self-quarantine and have their health monitored regularly. Chung proposed the Prime Minister allow Hanoi to purchase test kits and raise its disease alert level. He said local people must wear a face mask in public from August 7 or face a fine. One day earlier, the municipal Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control convened a meeting at which Secretary of the city’s Party Committee Vuong Dinh Hue requested the activation of all prevention and control systems. Priority was given to contact tracing, cracking down on illegal immigration, conducting large-scale testing, and assessing local capacity and demand for equipment. He also ordered that relevant agencies safely organise the national high school graduation examinations, which were scheduled for August 8-10, and remaining district-level Party congresses before August 18. The city was also set to prepare human and capital resources to support Da Nang and Quang Nam province in their fight against the pandemic./.