Firms propose DIY Covid tests

By Anh Minh   August 5, 2021 | 04:58 pm PT
Firms propose DIY Covid tests
Workers in Quang Chau Industrial Park of northern Bac Giang Province have their samples taken for Covid-19 tests in May 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quang Huy.
Many enterprises have proposed the government allow them to buy Covid-19 rapid test kits for their employees to reduce costs.

Nguyen Duy Minh, general secretary of the Vietnam Logistics Business Association (VLA), said drivers who transport goods through checkpoints and provinces or cities have to show certificates stating their PCR tests returned negative for Covid within 48 hours.

On average, each driver has to be PCR tested for Covid-19 every other day. A PCR test costs VND250,000-800,000 VND ($10.88-34.82), and a quick test some VND135,000.

They also face infection risks when completing test procedures and receiving results at designated facilities that are often crowded.

Do Thi Thuy Huong, member of the executive board of the Vietnam Electronic Industries Association (VEIA), said electronics enterprises, which often employ thousands of workers, have to pay a lot for Covid-19 testing if they wish to implement the stay-at-work mode. Meanwhile, some cities and provinces accept rapid tests for workers of stay-at-work factories, while some others only accept PCR tests.

According to her estimation, each stay-at-work firm has to pay some VND3 million for rapid tests per employee each month. For PCR tests, the costs doubles.

"We have urgently proposed the government to allow enterprises to proactively buy Covid-19 test kits and conduct rapid tests for their employees," Huong said.

Minh further proposed the government issue a unified regulation on goods transporters showing certificates proving they tested negative for the coronavirus, instead of PCR tests with validity of 48 or 72 hours.

Late last week, the government’s Private Economic Research Board also called on Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh to allow enterprises to self-test for Covid-19 to slash costs.

So far in the ongoing wave that broke out in late April, Vietnam has registered more than 185,000 Covid-19 cases, with HCMC accounting for over 112,000.

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