MANILA: 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.
(The selling and the use of these rapid antibody tests are becoming prevalent. We need to be sure that administering these kits, first, and foremost, they should be registered with the Food and Drug Administration.)
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 (The validation from RITM is still needed and it is them that could give recommendation on what rapid antibody tests in the market are highly sensitive and highly specific),” 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 (The IATF has yet to issue a recommendation regarding this June 15 decision. As of now, the reports surfacing have no basis yet),” 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 (No data has been released yet, we don’t have the basis to say if the doubling time has slowed down or accelerated). We will be issuing out all of this information on Monday,” 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/ Joyce Ann L. Rocamora/ SRNY/ RSP)