As a countermeasure against the novel coronavirus (nCoV) in Vietnam, responding to an urgent request from the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE), JICA had decided to provide testing reagents (worth $127,492) which is used for the rapid detection of the new coronavirus.
|Konaka Tetsuo, chief representative of JICA's Vietnam Office, handed over the nCoV testing reagents to Dang Duc Anh, director of NIHE, with the presence of representatives of the MoH, NIHE, and JICA |
The first batch of the reagents valued $20,945 was handed over today at the NIHE.
As of February 7, Vietnam had confirmed 12 cases of infection, while 77 cases of suspected infection are being isolated. The Vietnamese government is on the highest alert.
NIHE has been designated by the Ministry of Health of Vietnam as the leading institution to perform definite diagnosis of suspected cases in the northern region.
Vietnam has been exposed to a variety of emerging infectious diseases, including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003 and highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) in 2004. Since 2006, through the Japanese government's official development assistance (ODA), JICA have been supporting the installation and strengthening of biosafety level three (BSL-3) laboratories that enable the safe handling of these high-risk pathogens.
In the ongoing Project for Capacity Development for Medical Laboratory Network on Biosafety and Examination of Highly Hazardous infectious Pathogens, two long-term experts have been dispatched to strengthen the capabilities and collaboration of major inspection agencies in Vietnam, such as NIHE and the Ho Chi Minh City Pasteur Institute. This support is part of the project.
In addition, the first detected nCoV patient was admitted on January 23 at Cho Ray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City. A Japanese doctor (JICA expert) who works at the hospital had provided reference materials to the hospital's infection control department and supported enhancing the preparedness through a series of joint learning sessions with colleagues from the hospital.
JICA, under the leadership of the government of Japan, will continue to support the Government of Vietnam to combat the nCoV.