Antigen test not recommended to determine health status of COC participants - DOH


Posted at Sep 20 2021 05:03 PM

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MANILA—The Department of Health on Monday advised against the use of antigen tests for those participating in the filing of certificate of candidacy in October.

"We do not recommend the rapid antigen test kits to be used as a screening test for people who will vote or for people who's going to join events," Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a press briefing.

The Commission on Elections earlier said that national candidates must present a negative COVID-19 test result in the filing of COC in Sofitel. The poll body will also provide free antigen tests for those unable to take beforehand.

"Kaya nga sabi natin last week kailangan appropriate yung use para wala tayong question as to the results that will come out if ever we use it," Vergeire said.

(That's why we said last week that the use should be appropriate so we would have no question as to the results that will come out if ever we use it.)

Vergeire said the DOH would consult with Comelec over health protocols in conducting the elections.

"We will be discussing this with them para po appropriate na mga testing protocols ang maisagawa natin sa ganitong mga events na ito (so our testing protocols will be appropriate in this kind of events)," she said.

The DOH had said that that antigen test was mostly effective for people who already have symptoms, specifically within the first 5 days of their onset. This is because the viral load of the patient is at the highest level during this time, the agency added.