Newly-approved local test kits to shorten time for confirming COVID-19 cases: DOH
The Department of Health (DOH) said the newly-approved test kits for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) will shorten the time allotted for testing and confirming cases in the country.
In a press briefing on Tuesday, Assistant Health Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the SARS CoV-2 PCR Detection Kit - that were developed by local scientists from the University of the Philippines-National Institute of Health (UP?-NIH) - provides faster processing time for tests needed to confirm cases of COVID-19.
"This rapid test kits has a shorter turnaround time. It would give you around 45 minutes to two hours processing," said Vergeire.
"We will use this to extend the capacity of our laboratories," she added.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday approved and issued a Certificate of Excemption for the usage of the tests kit.
However, FDA Director General Eric Domingo said the health department will not rely on results from the test kits alone.
He said the test kits have to be coupled with gene sequencing in order to confirm suspected cases of the disease.
"It is partnered with gene sequencing so that there is confirmation of test results," said Domingo in a separate interview.
Vergeire added that the test kits will be used to identify if there is an "epidemiologic lead" or relations between possible local transmission.
"We're doing gene sequencing because with this we're using science to know id there are relation between cases and that we have an evidence to back us up if ever we will declare sustained community transmission," she added. Cristina Eloisa Baclig/DMS