A quarantine area in Minh Đạm Regiment, Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu Province. —VNA/VNS Photo Hoàng Nhị
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam recorded no new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, marking the eighth straight day without community transmission.
Three more patients have recovered, two from Đà Nẵng Lung Hospital and one from the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Đông Anh branch, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.
A total of 36,126 people who either had close contact with COVID-19 patients or entered the country from pandemic-hit areas are currently in quarantine.
Of the total, 621 people are quarantined in hospitals, 15,874 others are in other medical facilities and 19,631 are self-quarantined.
Data from the committee shows that as of 6am on Thursday, Việt Nam reported no new COVID-19 cases, marking the eighth straight day without community transmission.
Việt Nam has confirmed a total of 1,059 cases of COVID-19, including 691 locally-transmitted cases.
Of the 691 locally-transmitted cases, 551 cases are related to Đà Nẵng City since July 25. A total of 893 people have been declared recovered so far.
The ministry said 131 COVID-19 patients are being treated in health care facilities, including seven with very severe prognosis and facing risk of death.
The country has recorded 35 deaths, mostly of elderly people with serious underlying diseases.
The ministry has called on every Vietnamese person to follow the message “Mask-Disinfectant-Keeping Distance-Avoiding crowded place-Health declaration” to live safely with the pandemic.
The ministry recommended each citizen make a health declaration on the NCOVI app and install the Bluezone application to be warned of the risk of COVID-19 infection.
COVID-19 tests at airports
The Ministry of Health plans to order enterprises to conduct COVID-19 tests at airports, said Acting Minister of Health Nguyễn Thanh Long.
He made the statement at a meeting of the Standing National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control on Wednesday in Hà Nội, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam.
Speaking at the meeting, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Nguyễn Công Tạc said up to now, domestic enterprises have produced two types of COVID-19 fast test kits. The kits have high sensitivity and specificity in people infected with SARS-CoV-2 after seven days.
In addition, Việt Nam has also produced antigen test kits with the realtime-PCR method, with high accuracy and early detection of people infected with SARS-CoV-2. However, the kits take a long time to get results and must be used by skilled technicians, he said.
The steering committee emphasised that the country must live safely with the pandemic and welcome experts and investors to serve economic development, so rapid testing at border gates, airports, hospitals and mass gathering events to detect cases was of utmost importance.
In that spirit, businesses such as Sao Thái Dương and Medicon are researching and producing fast test kits with low cost that can use existing machines and equipment. The kits will have shorter implementation time but sensitivity and specificity will be equal to or even higher than the current realtime-PCR method.
Đào Đình Khôi, director of the Medicon Company, pledged to focus on manufacturing COVID-19 fast test kits.
The enterprise has prepared raw materials to produce 500,000 test kits. After completing a trial, it will submit for a circulation registration application and be ready to deploy production on an industrial scale with about 50,000-100,000 kits per day. Initially, the tests are expected to cost about US$3.5 each, 70 per cent of the value of foreign products.
A representative from Sao Thái Dương Company said the enterprise, along with researchers, developed the new version of the Realtime LAMP test kit and had sent it to the authorities to assess sensitivity and specificity.
The research team of the company expects the new product to increase testing capacity greatly and that it will return results quickly.
Acting Minister Long acknowledged and highly appreciated the efforts of medical bio-manufacturing enterprises over the past time and said the test kits have made an important contribution to pandemic prevention and control, adding that the ministry would support the firms in their efforts. — VNS