MANILA – The Philippine government is testing an average of 950 to 1,000 persons under investigation (PUIs) for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) a day, a health official said on Saturday.
“Kapag ini-total po natin lahat ng nagagawa natin for one day, ang average po ay 950 to 1,000 tests per day (If we total the number, we get to test an average of 950 to 1,000 per day),” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told in a press conference.
At the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) alone, she said the average test is around 600 a day.
“Since we established the sub-national laboratories, three of them are now capable of testing 100 while the other is 50 a day,” she said.
Given the recent donations, Vergeire said the number of Covid-19 test kits may now be considered “sufficient at present time” but she reiterated that not all PUIs need to be tested.
“Ang tine-test po natin ngayon ay ‘yong mga taong may severe na sintomas, ‘yong mga taong kasama sa vulnerable population natin (We are testing now those who have severe symptoms, those who are included in the vulnerable population),” she said.
On Saturday morning, China donated a total of 100,000 sets of Novel Coronavirus Nucleic Acid Diagnostic Kit (PCR-Fluorescence Probing), which will be distributed from the RITM to sub-national laboratories in the country.
The University of the Philippines-National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH) and the Department of Science and Technology recently developed a local Covid-19 test kit, which is now used for field testing.
To date, Vergeire said the UP-NIH test kits are being validated that would run for at least two to three weeks.
After the field trial, she said these kits would be evaluated and be given a certificate of product registration from the Food and Drug Administration for commercial use in the country. (PNA)