Making news

Vietnam successfully isolates new coronavirus: health official

The National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology has successfully cultivated and isolated the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the laboratory.

This will enable quicker tests of the virus, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said on the sidelines of a meeting of the national steering committee for the nCoV-caused disease prevention and control in Hanoi on February 7.

More than 1,000 people returning from China and nearly 500 others with close contact with infected patients are being quarantined and monitored and waiting for test results.

With the latest achievement, Vietnam is able to test thousands of samples a day when necessary, Long said, noting that this will also be a prerequisite for developing a vaccine against the virus in the future.

At present, the country still has enough materials for 2019-nCoV tests, the official added.

Vietnam reported two more 2019-nCoV cases on February 6, bringing the total number of infected patients in the country to 12.

On February 1, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc signed a decision declaring the nCoV-caused disease an epidemic in Vietnam.

Earlier, the World Health Organisation (WHO) had declared the 2019-nCoV outbreak a public health emergency of international concern./