The Official Letter on strengthening the testing to prevent and control the Covid-19 epidemic

Published on 02 - 09 - 2021
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On 01/9/2021, the Ministry of Health issued the Official Letter No. 1305/CD-BYT on strengthening the testing to prevent and control the Covid-19 epidemic.

According to the Official Letter, the epidemic situation has not been thoroughly controlled, especially in localities that are implementing social distancing according to the Directive No. 16/CT-TTg dated March 31, 2020 of the Prime Minister; in some localities, people still move and circulate in large numbers, and still recording infected cases in the community.

In order to soon detect infected cases to localize, isolate and treat in time, and minimize the risk of the epidemic spreading and outbreak, the Ministry of Health proposes the Chairmen of the People’s Committee of provinces and centrally-run cities to continue to direct the strengthening of testing for the prevention and control of the COVID-19 epidemic, specifically as follows:

For localities that are in the process of performing social distancing:

- To strictly conduct the contents according to the Official Letter No. 1068/CD-TTg dated August 5, 2021, the Official Letter No. 1099/CD-TTg dated August 22, 2021 and the Official Letter No. 1102/CD-TTg dated August 23, 2021 of the Prime Minister and the Official Letter No. 1168/CD-BYT dated 07/8/2021 of the Ministry of Health on strengthening epidemic prevention and control measures, especially paying special attention to the assessment of the epidemic situation to classify areas according to the level of risk to conduct rapid testing.

- To further step up testing on a large scale, first in the areas of lockdown, very high risk, and high risk in provinces and cities that implement social distancing. To continue to organize well the coordination, sampling, performance and return of testing results within 24 hours to ensure the value and progress of the test.

- Until September 15, 2021:

+ In very high-risk, high-risk areas: take samples for testing at home/household for the entire population at least 3 times (every 2-3 days/time); take rapid antigen single sample or RT-PCR pooling by home/household;

+ At risky areas and other areas: take samples for testing at home/household for the entire population at least once (5-7 days/time); take samples for RT-PCR pooling by home/household;

- To continue testing 100% of cases with symptoms of cough, fever, difficul breathing, respiratory infections... going to medical examination and treatment establishments and in the community.

- To test every 3 days for employees, workers (high-risk cases) at medical examination and treatment establishments, production and business establishments, industrial parks, people directly provide essential services.

- To consider and organize the implementation of instructions for people to take samples by themselves under the supervision of medical staff.

With other localities

- Based on the epidemic situation in the locality, proactively screen, monitor and detect suspected cases of the epidemic in the community and collect samples and test as indicated by health authorities and return the results within 24 hours of specimen collection. To apply rapid antigen or RT-PCR testing with appropriate pooling.

- To perform 100% testing for cases with symptoms of cough, fever, shortness of breath, respiratory infection... going to medical examination and treatment establishments or in the community to have response measures, timely isolate, not spread in the community.

- To carry out surveillance and testing, take samples of all or representative members of the house, household, or room who have a lot of contact with outsiders (belonging to the group of essential service providers, bankers, marketers, people working in markets, supermarkets, trade centers, shippers...) and people living in high-risk areas (inns, residential areas of high population density...).

- To test every 5-7 days/time for employees, workers (high-risk cases) at medical examination and treatment facilities, production and business establishments, industrial parks, people directly provide essential services. The sampling frequency in industrial parks, production and business establishments shall comply with the document No. 2787/QD-BYT dated June 5, 2021.

- To instruct people and workers at production facilities and industrial parks to take samples for testing themselves to prepare for the spread of the epidemic.

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