Quick COVID-19 testing results not proof of infection: health official

Vietnamese health authorities on Wednesday insisted that the standard, slower COVID-19 testing method remains the most reliable, while less accurate quick testing is more suitable if the case number gets drastically higher.

Quick COVID-19 testing results not proof of infection: health official

Health workers in full protective suits outside COVID-19 quick testing stations set up in Hanoi on Tuesday. 

The issue was raised after Hà Nội set up on Tuesday several COVID-19 test stations in the city using quick test kits purchased from South Korea, with which the East Asian country has been conducting mass testing on up to tens of thousands of people on peak days.

Samples from about 753 people at elevated risk were collected, and three reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus.

However, this afternoon today, Phạm Ngọc Thạch, Director of the Hà Nội-based National Hospital for Tropical Diseases, said that after examining the three samples closely with World Health Organisation (WHO)-approved RT-PCR method, all came up as negative.

Deputy health minister Nguyễn Trường Sơn during today's meeting of the National Committee on the Prevention and Control of COVID-19 said that there are two main types of testing.

The first one, RT-PCR, requires complex machines and may take hours to process, but yields highly accurate results regarding the presence of SARS-CoV-2 virus in the body.

The second – freshly deployed by Hà Nội’s authorities – involves the quick detection of the human body’s antibody against the virus and the results can be obtained within 10-15 minutes without using any machine. However, it would only be effective if the tested person has carried the virus for more than three days, and the accuracy pales in comparison to the former.

Sơn said quick test's sensitivity is 65-80 per cent, depending on how long the virus has infected the body, and its specificity is about 60-70 per cent, since they could mistake another virus for the novel coronavirus.

This means relying on quick tests run the risks of both missing newly infected patients and counting false positive cases, Sơn said.

 

However, quick tests would still be useful if a large number of people have been infected, so that health authorities could identify the clusters and carry out quarantine and focused treatment.

The health ministry has been importing a “certain amount” of the quick tests in preparation for this scenario, according to the health official.

Deputy minister Sơn insisted that given the current situation of Việt Nam when the case number remains low, the optimal way is still to isolate the suspected cases and testing them using the machine-based method for accurate results.

The quick tests’ results will not be a “definitive conclusion” over whether one has contracted SARS-CoV-2, he said.

At the meeting, health officials reiterated there is still no effective medicines or a “standard” treatment regime for COVID-19 patients, but Vietnamese doctors and experts are working hard on the issue, combining both international experience and Việt Nam’s creativity to deal with each case.

Việt Nam ranks towards the bottom of the global COVID-19 toll and is among five countries and territories with more than 200 confirmed positive cases but no deaths yet. — VNS

Latest coronavirus news in Vietnam

Latest coronavirus news in Vietnam

The National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology reported four new cases of COVID-19, raising the total to 222 as of 6am on April 2.

Hanoi deploys rapid COVID-19 test in community

Hanoi deploys rapid COVID-19 test in community

Hanoi Chairman Nguyen Duc Chung has directed the Department of Health to set up 10 working groups and arrange 10 rapid COVID-19 test stations in the city. At first, tests will be implemented in the wards around Bach Mai Hospital.

 
 

Other News

.
Aviation authority proposes to scrap rapid testing in favour of RT-PCR
Aviation authority proposes to scrap rapid testing in favour of RT-PCR
SOCIETYicon  06/01/2022 

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) wants arriving passengers tested for SARS-CoV-2 following the RT-PCR method prior to their flight, removing the additional need for rapid testing as well. 

Unknown man calls Vietnam Airlines, threatens to shoot down plane heading to Hanoi from Japan
Unknown man calls Vietnam Airlines, threatens to shoot down plane heading to Hanoi from Japan
SOCIETYicon  06/01/2022 

An anonymous man called a Vietnam Airlines branch in Japan on Wednesday morning, and said that if a flight heading from Narita (Japan) to Hanoi did not turn back it would be shot down, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV).

Medicines with molnupiravir for COVID-19 treatment proposed to be licensed
Medicines with molnupiravir for COVID-19 treatment proposed to be licensed
SOCIETYicon  06/01/2022 

An advisory council of the Ministry of Health (MoH) has proposed this ministry grant certificates of registration for conditional circulation of three medicines containing the active ingredient molnupiravir for COVID-19 treatment.

Sale of unauthorised COVID-19 treatment drugs on the rise across social media
Sale of unauthorised COVID-19 treatment drugs on the rise across social media
SOCIETYicon  06/01/2022 

As the battle against COVID rages on, some are taking advantage of the anxiety and worry of others to make a fast buck, no matter the consequences. 

After 30 years, Vietnam's fertility rate drops by nearly half
After 30 years, Vietnam's fertility rate drops by nearly half
SOCIETYicon  05/01/2022 

Over the past 30 years, Vietnam's fertility rate has fallen dramatically. The total fertility rate (TFR) fell from 3.8 children/woman in 1989 to 2.09 children/woman in 2019.

Local Molnupiravir manufacturers to be licensed soon
Local Molnupiravir manufacturers to be licensed soon
SOCIETYicon  05/01/2022 

Health professionals of the Ministry of Health are due to meet on January 5 to consider licensing local pharmaceutical companies that produce Molnupiravir for COVID-19 treatment.

Ho Chi Minh City to reopen bars, dance clubs from next week
Ho Chi Minh City to reopen bars, dance clubs from next week
SOCIETYicon  05/01/2022 

Ho Chi Minh City will reopen bars, dance clubs and karaoke parlors from January 10 after a period of suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Resolution 128 a game changer in Vietnam’s COVID-19 fight
Resolution 128 a game changer in Vietnam’s COVID-19 fight
SOCIETYicon  05/01/2022 

Resolution 128 is of great significance in COVID-19 fight and economic recovery, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Quoc Phuong said.

Oodles of glass noodles ready for Tet at So Village
Oodles of glass noodles ready for Tet at So Village
SOCIETYicon  05/01/2022 

The canna noodles, or glass noodles, of So Village in Tan Hoa Commune, Quoc Oai District, have long been known as a specialty of the Hanoi countryside, loved far and wide. They are probably the most famous noodles in the country.

New policies in 2022: pensions go up slightly, petrol prices increase sharply
New policies in 2022: pensions go up slightly, petrol prices increase sharply
FEATUREicon  06/01/2022 

Some new policies affecting most residents in the country take effect in January 2022.

HCM City issues quarantine procedure for arrivals in face of Omicron
HCM City issues quarantine procedure for arrivals in face of Omicron
SOCIETYicon  04/01/2022 

HCM City People’s Committee has just issued urgent guidelines for a five-step quarantine procedure for arriving passengers amid the emergence of the Omicron variant in Vietnam.

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES JANUARY 5
VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES JANUARY 5
SOCIETYicon  05/01/2022 

Vietnam secures over 195 million doses of vaccines against COVID-19

VN to remedy all dioxin hot spots by 2030: National plan
VN to remedy all dioxin hot spots by 2030: National plan
SOCIETYicon  03/01/2022 

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has signed Decision No. 2215/QD-TTg on the national action plan on overcoming the post-war consequences of toxic chemicals/dioxin in Vietnam for 2021-30.

National strategy aims to provide clean water to rural residents by 2030
National strategy aims to provide clean water to rural residents by 2030
SOCIETYicon  03/01/2022 

Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh signed a decision approving the National Rural Clean Water Supply and Sanitation Strategy by 2030, with a vision to 2045.

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES JANUARY 3
VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES JANUARY 3
SOCIETYicon  03/01/2022 

Vietnam looks to master technology in renewable energy

Vietnamese-origin professor knighted by Queen Elizabeth II
Vietnamese-origin professor knighted by Queen Elizabeth II
SOCIETYicon  03/01/2022 

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England, has been freshly knighted by the Queen Elizabeth II of the UK for his contributions to the local fight against COVID-19.

Ho Chi Minh City confirms five Omicron cases
Ho Chi Minh City confirms five Omicron cases
SOCIETYicon  02/01/2022 

Five cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 have been detected in Ho Chi Minh City, according to the municipal Department of Health.

Over 14,800 new Covid infections reported
Over 14,800 new Covid infections reported
SOCIETYicon  01/01/2022 

The Ministry of Health this evening, January 1 confirmed 14,835 fresh Covid cases, with 13 of them imported and 14,822 locally infected in 62 cities and provinces, dipping by 1,654 cases over yesterday.

Students of grades 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 to go to schools in person in HCMC
Students of grades 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 to go to schools in person in HCMC
SOCIETYicon  01/01/2022 

The People's Committee in HCMC directed educational institutions to provide face-to-face teaching for students in grades 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 from January 4, 2022.

More officials investigated for COVID-19 test kit overcharging
More officials investigated for COVID-19 test kit overcharging
SOCIETYicon  01/01/2022 

Several suspects in the overcharging for COVID-19 test kits at the Viet A Technologies JSC are being investigated for “offering bribe”, “receiving bribe”, and “abusing position and power while performing duties”.

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN