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Coronavirus quick test kits of unknown origin detected at Hanoi market

Coronavirus quick test kits of unknown origin detected at Hanoi market

Monday, June 07, 2021, 19:06 GMT+7
Coronavirus quick test kits of unknown origin detected at Hanoi market
COVID-19 test kits of unknown origin are detected in a medical equipment store in Hanoi. Photo courtesy of Hanoi Market Surveillance Agency

Hanoi authorities have discovered 29 quick test kits for COVID-19 screening in a medical supply store in Hoang Mai District, whose owner failed to present any accompanying proof of purchase or certificate of origin for the products.

The cargoes in question consist of 29 boxes of rapid COVID-19 test kits, with the label 'HANGZHOU TESTSEA BIOTECHNOLOGY CO.LTD CHINA,' seemingly the product manufacturer, printed on the packaging. 

They were found in a medical equipment store run by Lam Khang General Joint Stock Company in Dai Kim Urban Area, Hoang Mai District. 

The store owner failed to present any receipt or certificate of origin for the test kits, admitting that they were sourced on the Internet. 

A team of market surveillance officers, who spotted the illegitimate test kits, have seized them for further investigation. 

In recent weeks, Vietnamese customers have noticed various types of COVID-19 test kits with questionable origin to be put up online for sale. 

Addressing this issue, the General Department of Market Surveillance under the Ministry of Industry and Trade affirmed that they are keeping an eye on these test kits. 

They are working to prevent unauthorized sales of test kits, as well as circulation of unapproved test products on the market. 

They will also investigate the source of these products to deter future contraband attempts.

The market surveillance authority suggests that residents do their research on the products to steer away from pieces of unknown origin. 

Nguyen Dinh Anh, head of communications at the ministry, said Vietnamese citizens should not purchase these kits, for substandard quality can contribute to the spread of the novel coronavirus due to false negatives, online newspaper VnExpress reported. 

Vietnam has applied two main methods of SARS-CoV-2 testing — the real-time RT-PCR technique and antibody diagnosis, or serology tests.

Real-time RT-PCR tests look for the virus’ genetic material in samples collected from patients’ throats or noses, while antibody tests, rather than looking for the virus itself, detect antibodies or proteins in the blood that patient's bodies develop in order to fight it off.

The RT-PCR tests have been produced by the Vietnam Military Medical University and Viet A Company for nationwide use and export. 

The test kit has also been recognized by the World Health Organization for meeting all standards defined by the agency after undergoing five rounds of testing and quality evaluation.

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