Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Pham Cong Tac has asked scientists and experts to suggest testing options to ensure that the source of coronavirus infection would be identified when Vietnam resumes international flights.
The deputy minister made the statement at a working session with representatives of the Ministry of Health, coronavirus test kit manufacturers and research institutes on September 7 VnExpress reported.
Experts proposed building a procedure for controlling people on entry; using antigen, antibody and RT-PCR to supervise the sources of coronavirus transmission. The requirement is to ensure a short screening time, test accuracy and affordable price for incoming people.
According to a report of the Ministry of Health, there are four types of bio-products in Vietnam, including two types of kits used to detect anti-CoV antibodies in the blood of the Covid-19 patients and two others using biotechnology (RT-PCR) and RT-LAMP for coronavirus detection. Among them, three types have been licensed for use by the ministry.
Analysts said that quick testing is essential to ensure safety for the reopening of international air routes. The rapid detection of antigens and coronavirus antibodies can do the task. The downside is that its accuracy is not high and it has no diagnostic significance.
This method is only suitable for asymptomatic coronavirus patients and the suspected people still have to undergo RT-PCR confirmatory test.
Mr. Vu Dinh Hiep, representative of Viet A Technology Joint Stock Company, which is cooperating with Military Medical Institute to produce RT-PCR kit, said that the quick test (antigens, antibodies) is effective in detecting infected people but eventually the real-time PCR method is still necessary to give more accurate results.
The Ministry of Health has also developed standard procedures for screening people on entry to avoid community spread.
According to Deputy Minister Pham Cong Tac, all the comments will be summed up by the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Health to report to the government on September 9.
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