MANILA — The Department of Health on Monday said it is just waiting for the results of Baguio City’s pilot test for COVID-19 antigen tests.
“Last week they have sent us that they were able to finish already. Na-aattain na nila yung sample size para makumpleto yung study (They were able to attain the sample size to complete the study),” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a virtual briefing.
However, Vergeire said they are still waiting for the comparison of the antigen test results and the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test results to see whether a certain antigen test brand and antigen testing itself can meet the country’s accuracy requirements.
While antigen testing can detect the COVID-19 virus, it reportedly is not as accurate as the PCR testing. However, antigen testing yields results faster.
Vergeire said that once the analysis from the pilot test is completed, it will be released to media.
“Meron na tayong initial result but the study has not been completed yet,” she said.
Originally, the Philippine government wanted to use it for screening in airports but the World Health Organization later issued guidelines saying it is not appropriate for border screening.
The DOH then decided to run a pilot test in Baguio City to see if antigen tests can be used for other situations.