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Twenty-two labs capable of doing quick virus tests: health ministry

 The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention of Hanoi, Da Nang, Can Tho, Yen Bai, Lao Cai and Quang Ninh are among healthcare facilities capable of conducting SARS-CoV-2 tests in Vietnam, according to the Ministry of Health.

The ministry has published a list of 22 facilities that are qualified for doing quick tests on blood samples and respiratory tract specimens using Real time-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) to identify the virus.

National-level qualified facilities include the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Pasteur Institutes in HCM City and Nha Trang, Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology in the Central Highlands region, National Hospital for Tropical Diseases, National Paediatrics Hospital, Bach Mai Hospital, Military Hospital 108 and the Military Preventive Medicine Institute.

Hue Central Hospital, Thai Nguyen Central Hospital, Phu Tho province’s General Hospital and the Vietnam-Russia Tropical Centre can also conduct the tests.

In Ho Chi Minh City, the city’s Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Cho Ray Hospital, HCM City Paediatrics Hospital No 1 are on the list.

The health ministry asked the qualified labs to follow testing instructions of the World Health Organisation and US’ Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

The facilities are responsible for reporting the positive test results to the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control and local steering committees.

The RT-PCR test kits, which were developed by the Military Medical University and Viet A Corporation, and have been approved by the health ministry, can detect SARS-CoV-2 in specimens of droplets obtained from the respiratory tract and blood samples.

The timescale for results, including the preparation time for the specimen, is two hours.

Vietnam is able to make dozens of test kits per day at a cost of about 500,000 VND (21.5 USD) for a single test.