Developers of Pinoy-made COVID-19 test kit working 'double time' for mass rollout: regulator


Posted at Mar 24 2020 04:19 PM | Updated as of Mar 24 2020 06:29 PM

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Local scientists are working "double time" for the mass rollout of Philippine-made test kits for the novel coronavirus, a shortage of which has stumped global efforts to contain the pandemic, the Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday. 

Field tests are needed to prove the efficacy of the kits by the University of the Philippines-National Institutes of Health. Without this, results would have to be validated by a genetic test and separate kits at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Muntinlupa, said FDA Director General Eric Domingo. 

"Ang sabi po nila sa akin noong weekend e nagdo-double time po sila sa mga field testing. Sabi namin, basta meron naman silang data ipadala na po sa FDA," he told DZMM. 

(They told me last weekend that they were working double time with the field testing. We told them to just send their data to the FDA.) 

"Hinihintay lang po natin kasi kailangan natin iyong kanilang validation para mapayagan na po natin ang malawakan na paggamit," he added. 

(We are waiting for that because their validation is necessary for is to allow the kits' mass use.) 

There is a "global shortage" of test kits and protective gear for medical workers, the health department earlier said. 

The Philippines as of Tuesday confirmed 35 deaths out of 552 cases of COVID-19. 

Luzon, home to half of the Philippines' 100 million people, will be under lockdown until April 12 to curb the pandemic. 

DZMM, March 24, 2020