WHO backs VN’s laboratory resources for COVID-19 detection
18:07 | 24/02/2020
VGP - In support of Viet Nam’s ongoing response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, the World Health Organization (WHO) made available for use in four regional laboratory institutes and a number of designated national hospitals some laboratory supplies required to detect the COVID-19 virus.

These testing reagents are produced abroad and shipped to various countries, including Viet Nam, through WHO.

The test, a real-time RT-PCR, is a molecular test that detects genetic material. It needs to be conducted in molecular testing laboratories. The National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE), Pasteur Institute Ho Chi Minh, Tay Nguyen Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Pasteur Institute Nha Trang and some designated hospitals – the recipients of the COVID-19 virus testing reagents – have the facility and resources to conduct the same laboratory methods for other pathogens.

Following WHO’s provision of the required laboratory supplies, the Ministry of Health and the above-mentioned regional institutes, with support from WHO and other development partners, will provide the necessary training so that the testing protocols using these reagents can be rolled out as soon as possible.

WHO, together with other international partners, have long been supporting Viet Nam in strengthening its laboratory capacity for infectious diseases, as required by the International Health Regulations (IHR) (2005). Through this investment, the country now has a strong laboratory system, including for advanced molecular testing, which is required for COVID-19 detection, said Dr Kidong Park, WHO Representative in Viet Nam.

To further support laboratory testing, WHO has been facilitating access of countries, including Viet Nam, to the newly developed tests. We are committed to continue working with the Ministry of Health and other partners to ensure the country’s continued and quality testing for this new virus,” he added.

By Quang Minh

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