Vietnam spends US$865 million importing COVID-19 test kits
Vietnam has spent a total of VND19,900 billion (roughly US$865 million), importing COVID-19 test kits since the pandemic broke out in 2020, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.
|A COVID-19 test kit.|
A customs official told tuoitre.vn that the test kit import value rose 191 times last year to US$709.39 million compared to just 3.71 million spent in the previous year.
The number of businesses importing such test kits also increased threefold to 166 against just 48 in 2020.
The opening two months of this year alone saw 95 enterprises import COVID-19 test kits with a total import value of US$152 million.
Vietnam mainly imported test kits from the Republic of Korea and China, with the value skyrocketing from merely US$2.36 million in 2020 to US$482.44 million last year.
Viet A Technologies JSC, a company which has been prosecuted for overcharging RT-PCR COVID-19 tests, imported three million quick test kits from China at US$0.955 each, said the General Department of Vietnam Customs.
Meanwhile, Duc Minh Medical Joint Stock Company (ALMEDIC JSC) imported a huge number of COVID-19 test kits worth over VND3 trillion (approximately US$131 million).
Duc Minh imported COVID-19 test kits for PCR machines and sold them to hospitals at between VND250,000 and VND395,000 (US$11 - 17.3) per kit.
The Ministry of Finance (MOF) and Ministry of Health (MOH) are considering adding rapid test kits to the list of products subject to price stabilization after reports about price turmoil.
Viet A Technology Corporation has been found to have imported three million rapid Covid-19 test kits named Novel Coronavirus 2019-nCoV Antigen Test (Colloidal Gold) from China at US$0.995, or VND21,560 per kit in the last four months of last year.