An Giang Province hospital starts doing COVID-19 tests

April 10, 2020 - 14:30

The Ministry of Health has permitted the An Giang Central General Hospital to conduct tests to diagnose COVID-19.


An Giang Central General Hospital in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang has received approval to conduct tests for COVID-19. — Photo

AN GIANG — The Ministry of Health has permitted the An Giang Central General Hospital to conduct tests to diagnose COVID-19.

The hospital’s molecular biology laboratory can do quick tests on blood samples and respiratory tract specimens using the real time-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) technique to identify the virus.

The technique reduces the time required to produce results, and saves the hospital the trouble of sending samples to the HCM City Pasteur Institute for testing.

It takes less than three and a half hours, and the hospital can do 400 tests in a day.

Knowing the importance of this technique for timely quarantining, the province People’s Committee instructed the hospital to instal a RT-PCR system.

The system also helps diagnose hepatitis B and C and HIV.     

It was installed in the molecular biology laboratory and meets biosafety level 2, which covers work with pathogenic and infectious organisms that pose a moderate hazard. Self-closing lockable doors and bio-hazard warning signs are mandatory at all access points to the lab.

There are four levels of bio-safety.

The HCM City Pasteur Institute trained the hospital staff in conducting SARS-CoV-2 tests.

The hospital also installed an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine which adds oxygen to patients’ blood and pumps it through their body just like the heart. It is an advanced technique in emergency aid and recovery for patients with severe respiratory failure who are unable to use the ventilator.

As of April 9, An Giang has had three COVID-19 patients, one of whom has been discharged from hospital. The other two are being treated.

The provincial-level police have been assigned to work with police departments in communes and towns to visit each household, especially those with people who had to be in quarantine, and inquire about their health status.

They also collaborate with border guards to patrol the border with Cambodia, which has seen a rise in COVID-19 incidence.

As of April 8, the country had more than 30 facilities that can do quick tests using RT-PCR for COVID-19. —VNS