Vietnam Receives DNA Sequencing Device for Covid-19 Variants Donated by USA
On Nov. 9, Deputy Minister of Health Assoc. Prof.Dr. Nguyen Truong Son and Chargé d'Affaires for US Mission Vietnam Madam Marie Damour observed the donation of the gene sequencing machine - Illumina DNA Sequencer for Covid-19 variants at Bach Mai Hospital, Hanoi.
|Madam Marie Damour (L) and Prof. Dr. Nguyen Truong Son at the donation ceremony. Photo: Suc Khoe Doi Song
This is one of two DNA sequencers given to Vietnam by the US Department of Defense. Cho Ray Hospital was the first to receive a gene sequencing machine on Oct. 19. The machine donated by the US Department of Defense to Vietnam is one of the most modern DNA sequencing machines. It can be used to track the variant of the virus and its spread. This device can also be used to trace bacteria and viruses that cause other infectious diseases.
According to Deputy Health Minister Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Truong Son, the donation contributes significantly to the prevention of COVID-19 as well as supporting the research and developing new vaccines. After the donation ceremony, Prof. Dr. Nguyen Truong Son and Madam Marie Damour visited the Covid-19 facility at Bach Mai Hospital.
Scientists use a process called DNA sequencing to decode the genes and learn more about the virus. DNA sequencing allows scientists to identify SARS-CoV-2 and monitor how it changes over time into new variants, understand how these changes affect the characteristics of the virus, and use this information to better understand how it might impact health, cited fromUS CDC.
The first machine has contributed remarkably to Cho Ray Hospital in Covid-19 prevention and disease control. Currently, the results of epidemic prevention in Ho Chi Minh City have achieved many positive results. Doctor - Dr. Nguyen Tri Thuc, Director of Cho Ray Hospital sincerely thanked the US Government. In the two facilities of Cho Ray Hospital alone, the number of seriously ill patients due to Covid-19 decreased sharply.
|The donation ceremony at Bach Mai Hospital. Photo: Suc Khoe Doi Song
Attending the event were representatives of the US Office for Defense Cooperation, the US CDC, USAID, UNICEF, and WHO.
This donation marked the flourishing cooperation between the US and Vietnam in disease prevention and treatment against the Covid-19 pandemic. Deputy Minister Nguyen Truong Son said the relationship between the two countries in the health sector had made remarkable progress and he looked forward to cooperating in more fields in the future.
|The DNA sequencer at Bach Mai Covid-19 Facility. Photo: Suc Khoe Doi Song
During the visit to Vietnam in Aug 2021, US Vice President Kamala Harris emphasized that besides security and economy, health is one of the three priority commitments that the US has for Vietnam. She elaborated to say the health sector is currently a strategic partnership between the two countries.
In response, Deputy Minister of Health highlighted that commitments and support from the US are very meaningful to Vietnam. To date, Vietnam has received a total of nearly 15 million doses of vaccine from the United States through COVAX. The United States is currently the country that donates the most Covid-19 vaccine to Vietnam.
|Chargé d'Affaires and Deputy Minister of Health also visit the vaccination site at Bach Mai Hospital. Photo: Suc Khoe Doi Song
On Oct. 12, Vietnam also received 77 medical freezers from the US. Thanks to US support Vietnam to access vaccine supplies and technology for the production and transfer of vaccines, Deputy Minister Nguyen Truong Son believes that Vietnam will soon overcome the impact of the pandemic and make a great improvement to public healthcare.
Madam Marie Damour thanked the Deputy Minister, followed by recalling when the US went through the most difficult times fighting against the virus, Vietnam had provided millions of personal protective equipment, which helped save millions of Americans.
She believed the gene-sequencing machine donation is a symbolic sign in bilateral medical cooperation because the genetic sequencing of viruses, including the Covid-19 variant, can be used to develop new more effective vaccines that protect both Vietnamese and American people. The United States is very proud to support Vietnam with US$ 30.2 million worth of ventilators, laboratory and clinical equipment, and technical training.
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