HCMC – The HCMC Department of Health has written to the Ministry of Health proposing updating to the national Covid-19 monitoring system some 150,000 Covid-19 cases that were found positive for the coronavirus through rapid tests instead of RT-PCR tests as normally required.
The huge number of positive cases were found after the city has since August 20 conducted rapid tests, but current procedures by the Ministry of Health only recognize coronavirus carriers as patients if such cases were so confirmed by RT-PCR tests.
The municipal department also proposed the ministry allow it to officially confirm Covid-19 cases through rapid antigen testing, the local media reported.
The city’s proposal followed a recent directive issued by Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son, which states that people who are required to undergo home quarantine after being found infected with Covid-19 through rapid testing are considered as Covid patients and are eligible to receive medication bags from health authorities.
If the 150,000 positive cases are tagged as Covid patients by the ministry, HCMC’s Covid caseload would hit over 522,000, up 40% against the number of Covid infections reported by the ministry.
A representative of the city’s Department of Health said that the 150,000 positive cases were being monitored and had received medication bags.
Explaining while the 150,000 cases had not been diagnosed via RT-PCR tests, the source said that the number of positive cases found through rapid tests was huge in August, making it hard to conduct PCR tests for all the people who were found positive for the virus in rapid tests, while the city at the time was struggling with the strong spike in daily cases.
The city is still speeding up Covid testing, mainly in extremely high-risk zones, until September 30 to promptly single out positive cases and treat patients.