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DOH to use local test kits starting today
In a press conference yesterday at the Department of Health, PGC deputy executive director Raul Destura said their real time-polymerase chain reaction test kits would be used in the laboratory of the UP-NIH.
AFP/Maria Tan/File

DOH to use local test kits starting today

Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - April 20, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Starting today, local test kits for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) developed by Filipino scientists from the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) and the University of the Philippines-National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH) will be used for the first time.

In a press conference yesterday at the Department of Health (DOH), PGC deputy executive director Raul Destura said their real time-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test kits would be used in the laboratory of the UP-NIH.

“We are opening the first testing at the NIH today because logically, these are NIH kits. It’s just proper to give them priority,” Destura, who led the local scientists that developed the kits, said.

The technology was developed by Manila Healthtek, a spinoff company of UP-NIH to pursue research and development, with funding coming from the Department of Science and Technology.

The kits have undergone field testing before they were validated and approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration. 

The RT-PCR is considered as the “gold standard” for testing COVID-19. Samples examined using the rapid antibody-based test kits must undergo confirmatory tests using RT-PCR to validate the results. 

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH TEST KITS
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