100K COVID testing kits arrive from China

THE Chinese donation of 100,000 test kits for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) arrived in the Philippines early yesterday.

Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian turned over the test kits, along with 100,000 surgical masks, 10,000  N95 masks and 10,000 personal protective equipment (PPEs), to Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. and representatives of the Department of Health (DOH), in a ceremony in Parañaque City.

DOH Migrant Health Unit Chief program officer Dr. Joel Buenaventura said the test kits (Novel Coronavirus Nucleic Acid Diagnostic Kit  or PCR-Fluorescence Probing), will be distributed from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) to sub-national laboratories.    

Buenaventura said although a different brand from the first batch from China donated on Monday, the newly-arrived test kits are also RT-PCR-based.    

“(The result) is still within a few hours. This is a PCR-based and not serum-based like (the ones released that are like) pregnancy test kits. We don't use a serum-based test for diagnosis,” Buenaventura told the Philippine News Agency.

On Monday, the first batch of 2000 fast test kits for COVID-19 jointly donated by the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines and the China Mammoth Foundation arrived to help the Philippines' fight the epidemic.