A nasal swab is collected from a health worker at the HCMC Oncology Hospital for Covid-19 testing – PHOTO: MINISTRY OF HEALTH
HCMC – The HCMC Department of Health yesterday evening, May 12, asked all hospitals in the city to urgently collect samples from all employees, patients and caregivers for Covid-19 testing.
The hospital began to take samples immediately after receiving the order last night and continued to collect more samples this morning.
The order came after a patient from the Hanoi-based K Hospital, which is currently one of the country’s Covid-19 hotspots, visited the HCMC Oncology Hospital but declined to say he had visited K Hospital for nasopharynx cancer treatment.
The patient visited K Hospital on April 24 and the HCMC Oncology Hospital on May 12. However, he said in the health declaration upon his arrival at the HCMC Oncology Hospital that he is a resident of Binh Duong Province, which is adjacent to HCMC, even though he is a native of the north central province of Quang Tri.
K Hospital in Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi City, has reported 13 cases and is now under lockdown. People who visited K Hospital since mid-April must complete heath declarations and be quarantined and tested for Covid-19.
Nguyen Tri Dung, director of the HCMC Center for Disease Control, said the city is using the real time polymerase chain reaction technique to perform Covid-19 tests for samples from hospitals. According to Dung, this technique gives more accurate results than rapid tests.
This is the first time that the city has conducted such an urgent and a mass Covid-19 testing campaign.
Pham Xuan Dung, director of the HCMC Oncology Hospital, said the hospital has taken samples from over 2,000 doctors, nurses, patients and caregivers and all of them tested negative for Covid-19.
During the current fourth Covid-19 wave, which started late last month, the city has reported only one locally transmitted case linked to the Covid-19 hotspot in the northern province of Ha Nam.
Nguyen Tan Binh, director of the HCMC Department of Health, said the city has 24 Covid-19 testing facilities capable of testing some 15,000 samples a day. In case of emergency, the capacity could be raised to 30,000-40,000 samples a day.
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