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Vietnam has full capacity to perform COVID-19 diagnostic testing

Vietnam has full capacity and enough kits to perform diagnostic tests for the virus SARS-CoV2 that causes COVID-19, said Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long in a meeting on February 24.

The country now has 10,000 test kits provided by the World Health Organisation (WHO) with the accurary similar to those in other countries, he told a meeting of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control in Hanoi.

The test kit involves real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) so it is highly sensitive and effective, he said.

WHO has transferred standard technique for detecting the novel coronavirus for three qualified medical facilities in Vietnam – the Pasteur Institute of Ho Chi Minh City, the Pasteur Institute of Nha Trang and the Central Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology in Hanoi, according to the deputy minister.

These facilities then have cooperated with WHO to transfer the technique and required equipment to 22 medical laboratories, whose staff has also received relevant training. The labs are now capable of producing reliable test results, he said.

Regarding a 12-grade schoolgirl in Phu Loc, Thua Thien-Hue who died after suffering a week-long fever, cough and shortness of breath, the symptoms similar to those of the COVID-19, Deputy Minister Long said her body fluid tested negative with SARS-CoV2 by the Hue Central Hospital and the result was confirmed in the second testing by the Pasteur Institute of Ho Chi Minh City.

He noted that in some special cases, the Ministry of Health will request tests to be performed by at least two facilities to ensure the accuracy./