Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam (centre) chairs the online conference. — VNA/VNS Photo Danh Lam
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam can master two methods of COVID-19 testing, experts agreed during an online conference of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.
The online conference, held on Monday, was chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam, head of the steering committee and connected with different ministries and sectors.
The experts said that different countries were currently using two kinds of tests for SARS-CoV-2 virus, including a virus gene test, or PCR method, and antibody test, often used for quick tests.
The PCR method has high accuracy but requires professional skills. It needs to be conducted by experts with modern machines and shows results after a long time, about several hours.
The antibody test can be conducted quickly and simply. Those giving the test do not need special training or any special equipment. However, the method is not as accurate. Thus, PCR is often used to re-confirm the results.
The experts believe that to prevent and control COVID-19 effectively, the two methods should be combined.
The steering committee members agreed that although the country had not seen any new cases of COVID-19 in the community, ministries should still ensure preventive measures based on the Government’s and the Ministry of Health’s guidance.
Permanent Deputy Minister of Health Nguyễn Thanh Long said that earlier Việt Nam had used biological products from abroad for PCR tests, then it developed another PCR test product to replace foreign sources, which is manufactured by the Việt Nam Military Medical University in co-ordination with the Việt Á Corporation.
So far, about 212,000 samples have been tested and 270 cases tested positive for the disease.
Việt Nam now has 112 Realtime-PCR laboratories for SARS-CoV-2 tests with total maximum capacity of more than 27,000 samples per day.
The country also ensures different medicines used for treating COVID-19 symptoms, face masks, protective equipment and ventilators. — VNS