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Aug 10, 2020 / 14:34

Vietnam's Covid-19 testing capacity improves: DPM

Vietnam has stepped up testing under the instructions of the Ministry of Health, including rapid tests and PCR tests.

Vietnam’s Covid-19 testing capacity has much improved in terms of both test kit production and machinery, local media quoted Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam as saying.

Speaking at a meeting of the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control on August 9, Mr. Dam said Vietnam has stepped up testing under the instructions of the Ministry of Health, including rapid tests and PCR tests.

However, it is hard to conduct Covid-19 tests for the entire population, even the population in a province in a short time, the deputy PM stressed, adding that the most effective solution to the pandemic still lies in early detection, fast contact tracing and pool testing.

 Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam speaks at the meeting. Photo: VGP

According to the deputy PM, locally-transmitted Covid-19 cases have resurfaced in more than a dozen localities, mostly linked to the outbreak in the central city of Danang.

“Therefore, if we continue with the countermeasures in place, especially those tightened one week ago, we are confident that the pandemic will not spread widely,” Mr. Dam said.

Reviewing the fight against Covid-19 in Danang and Quang Nam province over the past days, Mr. Dam suggested compiling a handbook on experience in this regard to serve as a guiding document for other localities.

For his part, Acting Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long reported that the testing strategy has been adjusted three times, towards expanding the scope of subjects to be tested and speeding up the work.

The strategy has helped to protect the groups posing a high risk of infection, while promptly spotting Covid-19 cases for quarantine and treatment, the health official said.

Private health facilities have also been asked to participate in Covid-19 testing, Mr. Long added.

Tran Dac Phu, former director of the General Department of Preventive Medicine under the Health Ministry, commended the effective pandemic combat in Danang city. However, he warned of the complexity of the pandemic evolution domestically and abroad in the time ahead. He also urged localities, especially tourist cities and provinces, to stay vigilant against the disease.

At the time of writing, Vietnam had reported 841 Covid-19 cases, of which 317 are imported and quarantined upon arrival. There have been 13 fatalities so far.

A total of 178,695 people who have been identified as having made contact with Covid-19 patients or coming from pandemic-hit regions are being quarantined nationwide, including 5,252 at hospitals, 27,798 at other concentrated quarantine facilities, and 145,645 at home.