MANILA — With the rising number of people infected and dying in the Philippines because of the dreaded Covid-19 disease, on-site-capable test kits has become more crucial and highly recommended.
Several barangays have already been placed under total lockdown because of the alarming number of suspected Covid-19 incidents.
“That’s where the on-site test kits play their most important role, because people will need not go and clog hospitals and laboratories since the tests may be conducted in their own homes,” said Nico delos Angeles, country representative of Hero Pass, one of the front-liner companies in China’s fight against the virus as distributor of Wandfo Biotech Covid-19 Test Kits in Macau and Hong Kong.
In their letter to Dr. Rolando Enrique D. Domingo, Director General of the Food and Drug Administration, Delos Angeles appealed for an exemption for COVID 19 Test Kits and to allow the direct importation of Wandfo Biotech’s COVID-19 On Site Test Kits.
Wandfo brand was approved by China FDA and received the CE mark for Europe.
“I understand our COVID-19 testing kit is not the PCR method but lateral flow method. I also understand that the WHO and DOH only uses the PCR method to account for the confirmed cases in the country. However, this does not diminish the need and use of our product. Let me explain further,” said Delos Angeles.
“The Lateral flow method does not require a laboratory to interpret the results and can be deployed at the barangay level as first level screening by conducting it in the homes of the people. It can be deployed as a first line of testing to filter the people and save the PCR tests for those who are already confirmed positive,” explained Delos Angeles.
“There are arguments that with the lateral flow method you will only test positive on the second or third from the onset of the symptoms. First, you will only complain or seek a doctor when you have symptoms to begin with,” Delos Angeles said.
“Second, since it is simple to do and use, I will take the test with my household and if negative, I will not take the test after 2-3 days later to confirm if we are indeed negative. This will at least confirm that we are negative for the time being.”
“For first liners, Police, military and medical professionals I would take the test once a week because you never know when you were accidentally infected.
“As for the PCR method, although more accurate and what is required for the WHO and DOH, I have concerns on the logistics and implementation,” Delos Angeles further explained.
“First, we only have, 4 labs in the country which will be receiving all the samples. This requires logistics and there is limit as to how much a particular lab can handle,” he said.
“Second, the swab must be accurately taken at the right place or you will get a false negative. Not only that, the risk of infection if the patient accidentally sneezes at the medical professional while conducting the test and infecting our already limited medical staff.”
“Third, the transport of the PCR tests will require a -20 degrees enclosure or a frozen container or truck. Delivering the PCR in ordinary trucks or containers with our hot weather may affect the efficacy of the testers or may even totally spoil the test together,” Delos Angeles said.
“Fourth, decongesting the medical professionals from conducting PCR tests to allow them to treat patients. By letting barangay officials or non-medical staff conduct the lateral test first as initial screening it frees up the medical staff to conduct only on confirmed patients,” Delos Angeles concluded. (ia/sovereignph.com)