The government will purchase at least 500,000 antigen kits for house-to-house testing for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the antigen kits would complement the more exhaustive RT-PCR testing devices used in conducting Covid-19 tests.
“We have this brand of antigen test that has a high efficacy rate, which has been approved by the FDA and DOH,” Roque said, referring to the Food and Drug Administration and Department of Health.
“And we will buy 500,000 antigen testing kits to augment our RT-PCR,” he added.
The new kits will be used for house-to-house visits of teams deployed by the government’s Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (CODE) program.
“This will be used especially for CODE, or the house-to-house visits to look for those who have symptoms and who will be tested then isolated,” he said.
The move to purchase the antigen kits comes after the government placed the National Capital Region and Cavite, Laguna, Batangas and Rizal under the enhanced community quarantine or ECQ from March 29 to April 4 to arrest the surge in Covid-19 cases.
The Department of Health recorded 9,595 cases of Covid-19 on Saturday, the second highest figure since the department started tallying cases of the virus from early last year. On Friday, the DOH a record 9,838 cases of Covid-19. SOVEREIGNPH