DOH cautions vs uncertified test kits

June 13, 2020

THE Department of Health (DOH) on Saturday cautioned the public from purchasing and using uncertified rapid test kits for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

"Lumalaganap na po ang pagbebenta at paggamit nitong rapid antibody tests. Kailangan pong maging sigurado ang ating mamamayan sa paggamit nito, unang-una kailangan registered ng Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ang ginagamit," DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a Laging Handa briefing.

She noted that even FDA-registered test kits need further validation from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) to ensure that its results are accurate.

"Kailangan may validation pa ng RITM itong rapid antibody tests at and RITM po ang makakapagbigay ng rekomendasyon kung anu-anong rapid antibody tests sa market ang highly sensitive at highly specific that would provide accurate results," she said.

The Philippines' tally for COVID-19 stands at 24,787, a total of 5,454 of whom have recovered while 1,052 died.

Vergeire also clarified that no recommendation has been made yet whether to place Metro Manila and several areas under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) or modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

"Wala pa po tayong nailalabas na IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) recommendation ukol dito sa June 15 decision. Lahat po ng lumalabas ngayon wala pa 'yang basehan," she said.

She noted that no data on case doubling time has been released yet so it cannot be determined yet whether the epidemic curve had been flattening.

"Wala pa tayong nilalabas, wala pa tayong basehan para masabi kung bumilis ba o bumagal ang doubling time," she said.

President Rodrigo Duterte is set to announce on Monday the new quarantine rules to be implemented nationwide beginning June 16, a fortnight after different regions transitioned to general community quarantine. PNA