Covid Test Guideline


Who should get tested for Covid-19?

Anyone who: 

  • Is experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 such as fever, cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing, fatigue, and loss of smell or taste. 
  • Has come into contact with a confirmed or suspected Covid-19 case within the past 14 days
  • Is arriving to/traveling through/staying in/returning from areas with high amounts of Covid-19 cases within the past 14 days
  • Has been instructed by a doctor or any medical authority to be tested
  • Has participated in high-risk activities such as volunteering or working at a testing site or any heavily affected area

What are the symptoms of Covid-19?

Please report to a Covid-19 testing facility if you are experiencing the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Dry cough
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness
  • Body aches
  • Sore throat
  • Diarrhea
  • Eye irritation
  • Headache
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Skin rash or redness in the fingers or toes
  • Loss of ability to speak or move

Should I get tested for Covid-19 before visiting a doctor?

Most hospitals and clinics that remain open for in-person visits in Ho Chi Minh City require a negative Covid-19 test result before seeing a medical provider. If you do not wish to be tested, you may also book an online doctor visit on Docosan.

How long are Covid-19 test results valid?

The Ministry of Health does not offer national guidelines on the validity of Covid-19 test results. However, many provinces have their own regulations on using negative test results to travel between cities. Depending on the province, negative test results may be valid from 1 to 7 days. Temporary regulations on negative test results at provincial checkpoints are: 

  • An Giang and Bac Lieu require negative test results within 24 hours of entry
  • Tien Giang, Can Tho, Binh Duong, and Binh Phuoc require negative test results within 3 days of entry
  • Ba Ria and Vung Tau require negative test results within 5 days of entry
  • Dong Nai and Ben Tre require negative test results within 7 days of entry

What are the different kinds of Covid-19 tests available?

There are 2 methods of testing for Covid-19 available in Vietnam:

  • Antigen test (Rapid test): Results may be available as soon as 15-60 minutes after testing.
  • Real Time RT – PCR test: 1 day. This method detects the Covid-19 virus in the body, and is best for suspected cases or those who are traveling abroad.

What is a Covid-19 “pooled sample” test?

When people at low risk of infection are living in the same location (house, school, industrial zone, etc.) it is possible to consider a pooled sample transported in the same test tube. The pooled sample method is as follows: 

  • Step 1: Samples are collected separately from each person and placed in the same test tube immediately after collection (5 samples in 1 tube of buffer). Each subject in the pool is listed and each sample is coded. 
  • Step 2: Test tubes are packed, preserved, and transported according to regulations. 
  • Step 3: Pooled samples are stored at a laboratory until they may be tested according to regulations. 
  • Step 4: Pooled samples are tested using the Real Time RT-PCR method.

Can blood tests detect the Covid-19 virus?

In Vietnam, there is currently no blood test available to detect Covid-19.

How much does a Covid-19 test cost?

Currently, medical facilities partnered with Docosan in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City provide Covid-19 testing at a range of prices: 

  • Real time RT – PCR test: 1.300.000 – 2.500.000 VNĐ
  • Rapid test:  300.000 – 700,000 VNĐ.

How long does it take to receive Covid-19 test results?

Turnaround time for Covid-19 test results depends on the type of test, the testing facility, and the volume of people getting tested at any given time. If the testing facility is not too crowded, the usual time to return results is as follows: 

  • Rapid test: 45 – 60 minutes
  • Real time RT – PCR test: 18 – 24 hours

At this time, many testing facilities are overloaded, leading to a longer wait for test results.

Is a Covid-19 test required to fly internationally?

Many airlines require a negative Covid-19 test result using the RT – PCR method. 

For exact policies regarding Covid-19 and travel, check with your airline and the hospital or clinic where you will be tested. Docosan only supports scheduling tests and cannot guarantee airline or testing facility policies.

How accurate is the Covid-19 rapid test?

The rapid test method detects antigens of the Covid-19 virus. If antigens are present, the person tested is positive for Covid-19. 

Some research shows that the SARS-CoV-2 virus antigen may drop below the detection threshold after 5 days of symptom onset. This could lead to a false negative result on the rapid test on an infected individual, while the RT – PCR test result would be positive. 

A positive Covid-19 rapid test result does not confirm Covid-19 infection. Therefore, those with positive rapid test results should be tested using the RT – PCR method to confirm Covid-19 infection.

Are Covid-19 tests safe?

It is completely safe to be tested for Covid-19 at a licensed medical facility. All medical and testing staff are required to comply with safety regulations to avoid the spread of infection in the testing process.

Do I need to be tested again if my results are negative?

A negative covid test result only indicates there is no active infection at the time of sample collection. A second test after 14 days will help confirm. 

If you experience symptoms after a negative test result (fatigue, fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell), you should contact your nearest medical facility for further advice and testing.

Where can I get tested for Covid-19?

Find covid test centers