An is about to turn 18, today he practiced taking samples for Covid-19 by himself. After a moment of confusion, he also took the sample under the guidance of his mother. This is the 4th time An has tested Covid since the beginning of this epidemic season. The last 3 times you have tested the community or the service. After trying it out, he realized that it’s not too difficult to take a sample yourself. His mother said that self-testing is not only fast but also much cheaper than testing services, especially, safer than both service and community testing.
An is just one of many people in the epidemic area who want to comply with the government’s policy of testing for Covid-19 on a large scale but are afraid to go to public testing points organized by the locality.
Recall, on July 3, An from Dong Nai went to Ho Chi Minh City to test covid to take the high school graduation exam at the Gifted High School where he studied in high school. Then on 5.7, he once again had to test the service to get it. negative certificate, such as a passport back to Bien Hoa after the exam. The test of citizens is really hard, expensive and full of risks of infection.
Many people soon realized the dangers of not following the correct testing process and proposed a solution to guide people to test themselves at home, something the world has done for a long time. However, since the epidemic appeared, it has been 19 months, the Vietnamese health sector still undertakes this simple quick test. Then when there is a shortage of human resources, they have to rely on collaborators who are teachers, artists, administrative officials, even students… not nurses and doctors anymore. A ward of the city I live in formed a few dozen test teams running exhausted, where were the doctors and nurses. But the big deal is contagion. The centralized testing that led to many people going into isolation is a reality to face.
In addition, the test kit reaching the people is still too expensive. As magical as a pregnancy test, it’s only 10,000 – 20,000 VND. Meanwhile, a retail test kit also has to pay 200,000 VND. Since last year, Vietnam has actively produced test kits, but so far, the price of domestic test kits to people is not lower than those imported from Korea.
Some units still have to maintain production, but sometimes they have to hire medical staff to test for their employees, which costs a lot of money.
Fortunately, from August 23, in the largest epidemic center in the country, Ho Chi Minh City also started to guide people to take samples for Covid-19 test by rapid test for Sars-Covi-2 virus antigen. This is considered an important solution in a new strategy to help detect suspected cases early, reduce medical pressure before requiring large-scale testing.
People taking samples at home only need a monitoring team and volunteers, each team is in charge of an area, when distributing biological products to each household accompanied by a government representative. Those who cannot do it themselves, the supervision team can help and guide. Mr. Nguyen Truong Son – Deputy Minister of Health – added: “Previously, the spread while taking samples for testing happened due to the lack of hygienic conditions for medical staff. Therefore, allowing people to take samples themselves will ensure the safety of Covid-19 testing on a large scale. We hope that with the voluntary participation of the people in sampling and the monitoring and supervision of the health sector, the number of samples will increase many times compared to the previous time.”
Prof. Dr. Le Quynh Mai – Deputy Director of the Central Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology – also analyzed: “The possibility of infection in the community is very large, so if people are able to control their own infection, it is very good. . It is reasonable to do a quick Covid-19 test for people to do on their own.”
While Ho Chi Minh City immediately implemented instructions for people to take samples for testing or self-test at home; The mass media appeared a series of video clips and graphics detailing the steps of self-testing, but in many other provinces and cities, the neighborhood leader still went door to door calling on people to gather for testing. community, do not accept self-test results, and announce penalties for those who evade testing.
Testing for Covid-19 will eventually become a daily activity, even after vaccinations for 70-80% of the population have been completed. Test results can be instrumental in research and development of drugs and vaccines; disease control; and is the basis for people to be allowed to participate or not to participate in an important activity…
The government cannot follow the people to check and check all the time, and the budget cannot spend mountains of money on all tests. Therefore, providing or selling biological products and tools for people to self-control is a reasonable solution.
In addition, looking at it from another angle, people will have to gradually equip themselves with basic skills and common sense to know how to take care of their own health, but can’t rely on the government at all. is in times of boiling water, like now.
The remaining problem is that the government needs to organize guidance and the people need to cooperate.
For people to self-test for Covid-19 and hand the results back to the authorities, many people fear that the data will not be reliable. But between the organization for people to self-test and the organization of testing sites that do not meet the anti-infection requirements, it is clear that the solution for people to take samples for testing or self-test is a reasonable choice. than.
And just from the story of testing during this epidemic season, there is one word that could be the universal key, which is “faith”. Trust is needed all the time. And in this difficult time, trust is needed more than ever.
* The article presents the personal opinion and style of the author, a communication expert in Ho Chi Minh City