At present, the two main methods to screen COVID-19 in the world include PCR and antibody tests.
The PCR tests can detect the presence of an antigen, so at the time of being positive the patient is probably infected with SARS-CoV-2. However, this method requires highly specialized actions or experts to perform with many complex machines and takes several hours to come to conclusion.
Meanwhile, the rapid test method for antibodies takes less time, simple operation, requires no special expertise or equipment. However, this method has a much lower sensitivity and specificity than PCR, as a result, it is easier to make mistakes.
Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said that Vietnam has developed a very good PCR test bio-product to replace foreign ones. The bio-products, developed by the Military Medical Academy and Viet A Company, has been used primarily in Vietnam to test for SARS-CoV-2.
Up to now, Vietnam has carried out about COVID-19 212,000, detected some 270 positive cases. Vietnam is among countries with the highest detection rate of positive cases in the world.
There are currently 112 Realtime - PCR laboratories nationwide capable of testing and detecting SARS-CoV-2, with the maximum capacity of testing more than 27,000 samples a day. 48 labs have been allowed to test and confirm COVID-19 cases, with the maximum capacity of testing about 14,300 samples a day.
The PCR test kit of Vietnam has been recognized by the WHO, UK and can be used around the world.
As the fifth country in the world to successfully produce antibody test bio-products, the Ministry of Health has evaluated that the made-in-Vietnam rapid diagnostic bio-product has many advantages such as ease of use for all levels and facilities; high level of safety; and more importantly, the sensitivity and specificity of Vietnamese bio-products is about 95%, while foreign products only reach about 70-75%.
Additionally, made-in-Vietnam bio-product is much cheaper than imported one.
The Ministry of Health affirmed that Vietnam's rapid test bio-products could completely replace similar foreign ones.
The Steering Committee members highly appreciated the efforts of scientific research facilities, and agreed and recommended the Government to use this more bio-products to conducting rapid tests in the prevention and control of COVID-19 pandemic.By Duy Tien