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Vietnamese business group donates 30 COVID-19 breathalyzers to health ministry

Vietnamese business group donates 30 COVID-19 breathalyzers to health ministry

Saturday, June 05, 2021, 10:35 GMT+7
Vietnamese business group donates 30 COVID-19 breathalyzers to health ministry
This image shows a health worker collecting nasal samples from a woman for coronavirus testing in Vietnam. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

A domestic multisectoral giant has provided the Minister of Health with 30 breathalyzers for coronavirus detection as a contribution to pandemic fighting in Vietnam.

Heath Minister Nguyen Thanh Long received the breathalyzers, along with relevant consumables for 20 million test samples, from the country’s largest private conglomerate Vingroup at a handover ceremony on Friday.

The total value of the donation is more than VND460 billion, or around US$20 million.

Vingroup had negotiated to buy these coronavirus breathalyzers from Breathonix, a start-up business under the National University of Singapore.

The prominent advantages of these machines are quickness and high accuracy, health experts said.

Instead of taking nasal or throat samples for COVID-19 testing, the equipment employs artificial intelligence technology to analyze biochemical changes in the breath to detect coronavirus infection, Breathonix said.

The testing result is available within a minute, the manufacturer said.

After blowing into the device through disposable mouthpieces, the breathalyzer assesses the chemical compounds of the breath to determine if a person is infected, Reuters reported last week.

The system is designed to ensure there is no cross-contamination, and it achieved over 90 percent accuracy in a Singapore-based pilot clinical trial, Reuters cited Breathonix as saying.

The manufacturer also said the Health Sciences Authority of Singapore has licensed this breathalyzer product.

Speaking at the ceremony, Minister Long highly appreciated Vingroup’s support for the health sector’s epidemic prevention and control activities over the past time.

On behalf of Vingroup, Pham Thieu Hoa, general director of Vinhomes - the real estate investment arm of the group, expressed the group’s appreciation and respect for the contribution and sacrifice of health workers in the fight against COVID-19 since early 2020.

The group has been accompanying the health sector in that fight as well as in other activities for the sake of people’s health, Hoa said.

Reportedly, Vingroup has so far granted VND2,287 billion ($99 million) to the COVID-19 prevention and control in Vietnam. 

Since the coronavirus outbreak was first reported in Vietnam in early 2020, the country has so far documented 8,364 patients, including 3,242 recoveries and 51 deaths, the health minister confirmed on Saturday morning. 

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Vinh Tho / Tuoi Tre News

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