Apr 06, 2020 / 17:39

Vietnam advised to continue mass coronavirus testing

Testing at a larger scale will enable the country to better assess the Covid-19 situation.

A senior Vietnamese health expert has said that Vietnam should take more tests in the community that will provide more basis for the assessment on the novel coronavirus situation in the country.

 Dr. Tran Dac Phu, senior advisor to the Vietnam Public Health Emergency Operations Center (PHEOC). Photo: VGP

“The more tests are taken, the more likely infections are found,” Dr. Tran Dac Phu, senior advisor to the Vietnam Public Health Emergency Operations Center (PHEOC) was quoted by VnExpress as saying.

He emphasized that the main concern at present is risk of community infection. “If Vietnam fails to manage control of this source, a danger of flare-ups would be likely as it has happened in many countries,” the expert said at a meeting of the National Steering on Covid-19 Prevention and Control.

Explaining his point, Phu said Vietnam is now at the second stage of the epidemic and it’s different from the initial stage as now more infections in the community are found.

The expert warned that local people should keep vigilance at this stage and strictly practice social distancing because this method helps prevent the contagion from the sick people to healthy ones.

Taking Singapore as an example, Phu said that the neighboring country was successfully curbing the virus spread thanks to tough measures against the entry of Chinese and South Korean visitors but the situation has changed quickly after that. The case toll in that country has exceeded 1,000 in a short time.

From the coronavirus breakout, Vietnam took “early and drastic” measures to slow the spread of the virus by supervising visitors from epidemic-hit areas like China, South Korea, Europe, and the US. It has helped contain the number of infected cases. But risk in the community remains high, the expert stressed.

He said that Vietnam could relax social distancing after the nationwide isolation period ends on April 15 but other proper measures should be applied as the pandemic remains unpredictable.

As of April 6, Vietnam confirmed 241 infected cases, including 91 convalescents. As many as 88,551 samples have been taken for testing.