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Vietnam successfully designs test kit for new coronavirus

Vietnam successfully designs test kit for new coronavirus

Wednesday, March 04, 2020, 13:34 GMT+7
Vietnam successfully designs test kit for new coronavirus
Researchers work on a test kit for SARS-CoV-2 at the Institute of Biotechnology, managed by the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology. Photo: Nguyen Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Vietnamese scientists have been able to design a test kit for the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that is on a par with those produced by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The group of researchers led by Dr. Dong Van Quyen, deputy head of the Institute of Biotechnology under the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST), and Dr. Dinh Duy Khang, a senior member of the institute, announced on Tuesday they had successfully designed the test kit.

The kit has been examined and cross-evaluated by the Military Preventive Medicine Institute under the Ministry of National Defense, and the result showed that the made-in-Vietnam test kit has similar testing capabilities as those provided by the WHO.

Particularly, the Vietnam-made kit is capable of returning results within 80 minutes, with a specificity of 100 percent and sensitivity of five copies per reaction, according to the Military Preventive Medicine Institute.

The Vietnamese scientists developed their kit using the RT-PCR (Real time-Polymerase chain reaction) technique and RNA samples of the SARS-CoV-2 provided by the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology.

The VAST will coordinate with the Military Preventive Medicine Institute to mass-produce the test kit.

A test kit for SARS-CoV-2 is developed at the Institute of Biotechnology, managed by the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology. Photo: Nguyen Phuong / Tuoi Tre

A test kit for SARS-CoV-2 is developed at the Institute of Biotechnology, managed by the Vietnam Academy of Science and TechnologyPhoto: Nguyen Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Experts believed this event is an important step in Vietnam’s efforts to diagnose and control the epidemic.

The country will no longer rely on test kits provided by the WHO, which have become quite rare given the wide spread of the disease across the globe.

Another test kit is being developed by the Vietnam Military Medical University and Viet A Corporation following a request from the Ministry of Science and Technology.

The Hanoi University of Science and Technology previously succeeded in producing a SARS-CoV-2 test kit, but it does not utilize the RT-PCR technique as recommended by the WHO.

The novel coronavirus disease has killed 3,165 people and infected over 92,900 globally since it first hit the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019, according to statistics from the Ministry of Health.

Vietnam has so far confirmed 16 cases of the viral infection, including 13 Vietnamese, one Vietnamese American, and two Chinese.

All of them have fully recovered and have been discharged from the hospital.

The country has reported no new infections since February 13.

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