HCMC to buy 300,000 more test kits as Covid-19 wave builds

By Le Phuong, Huu Cong   May 10, 2021 | 01:33 am PT
HCMC to buy 300,000 more test kits as Covid-19 wave builds
A medic holds a tube with samples taken for the new coronavirus tests at the HCMC Hospital for Tropical Diseases, March 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
HCMC will buy 200,000 PCR and 100,000 rapid test kits to prepare itself should the Covid-19 community outbreak get worse.

With a population of 13 million including migrants, the city is currently equipping 24 testing facilities with 90,000 PCR and 30,000 rapid test kits, allowing it to conduct mass testing of 15,000 samples in 24 hours.

While the rapid test kit could deliver results within 10-15 minutes to serve the screening of those that might have been infected, the real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test determines whether a person is positive or negative within a day.

For now, the city is conducting mass tests for all medics and hospitalized patients at HCMC Oncology Hospital and the HCMC Hospital of Hematology and Blood Transfusion, said Nguyen Tan Binh, director of the municipal Health Department.

On Monday, Vietnam's new daily Covid-19 tally surpassed 100 for the first time, with 78 cases confirmed in the morning and another 31 added around noon.

Since April 27, Vietnam has registered 442 community transmissions in 26 cities and provinces as it experiences one of its most challenging Covid-19 waves.

HCMC has reported just one locally-transmitted case in the new wave so far and since February, has not suffered any Covid-19 clusters.

However, authorities have proposed vigilance as the city, the nation’s largest economic hub, is frequently visited by people traveling from different localities, posing high risk of infection.

As guided by chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong on Monday, HCMC will re-establish Covid-19 checkpoints at all of its gateways, requesting everyong entering the city to complete the health declaration procedure.

"I’m really concerned over the ongoing situation. The city has only recorded one community transmission but the pandemic has grown complex both in Vietnam and abroad," Phong said.

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