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Saturday, October 16, 2021

Health Ministry proposes stabilizing prices of Covid test kits

By Minh Duy

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HCMC – The Ministry of Health has proposed stabilizing the prices of Covid-19 test kits and increasing their supply by working with international producers to buy these kits in large quantities and at lower prices.

The ministry took this decision after people complained that the prices in Vietnam were significantly higher than other countries.

As for the Covid testing service prices, the Ministry of Health said the prices depend on many factors such as the prices of Covid test kits and medical equipment.

The prices of Covid test kits depend on their origin, quality, quantity and purchase date. During the height of community Covid spread, rapid test kits fell short, sending their prices soaring. 

The ministry has taken measures to adjust down Covid testing prices.

Last year, the ministry capped testing prices at VND238,000 per rapid test and VND734,000 per RT-PCR test. 

These prices had been applied until July 1, 2021, based on the Ministry of Health’s Circular No. 14 dated July 5, 2019. 

From July 1, 2021, the prices of rapid test kits have declined because many companies have imported test kits and some local companies have been able to produce them.

Besides negotiating with large test kit producers across the world to buy test kits in large quantities and at the lowest possible prices, the ministry has also encouraged local producers to receive the transfer of technology from producers in Europe and the United States to produce test kits in Vietnam.

The ministry has called on large companies to buy test kits in large numbers and at low prices and then sell them to cities and provinces but not at a profit. 

At present, the ministry only receives medical equipment, including Covid test kits, that is legally sponsored and donated. 

The ministry asked producers, importers and distributors to publish the prices of Covid test kits for the customers. 

Up to now, the health authorities have licensed 97 types of Covid test kits, including 35 RT-PCR test kits, 39 antigen test kits and 23 antibody test kits. 

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