Government urged to allow use of Pinoy-made test kits

Cecille Suerte Felipe - The Philippine Star
Government urged to allow use of Pinoy-made test kits
COVID-19 test kit developed by experts from the Philippine Genome Center and the National Institutes of Health of the University of the Philippines Manila.
Manila HealthTek Inc., Facebook

MANILA, Philippines – Senators belonging to the minority bloc urged the government to allow the use of Filipino-made, world-class coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) test kits, especially at a time when resources are scarce.

In a joint statement, Senate Minority Leader Frank Drilon and Sens. Francis Pangilinan and Risa Hontiveros questioned what was holding Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and the DOH back from giving the go-signal for the use and mass production of this Filipino-made, quality yet less expensive test kit.

“Is there someone making money from expensive and imported test kits? The savings that could be generated from this kit are crucial in augmenting our COVID-19 response especially at a time when resources are scarce,” the senators added.

The senators said Filipino scientists and doctors started developing the test kits as early as December last year when reports about the coronavirus surfaced.

“The country is ramping up COVID-19 testing, but locally manufactured, world-class P1,320 PCR test kits are gathering dust in laboratories due to the inaction of Health Secretary Duque,” the lawmakers said.

Developed by the University of the Philippines National Institute for Health and funded by the Department of Science and Technology, the Filipino test kit continues to face hurdles even as imported brands coming from China and Korea, costing more than double at between P4,000 and P8,000, enter the country without difficulty.

The kits have undergone trials and tests, with an interim report showing that they have up to 93.96 percent sensitivity and up to 98.04 percent specificity, at a confidence interval of 95 percent, ranking among the world’s best and performing better than some of the imported kits.

“Is there someone being favored here at the expense of Filipinos who every day face the dangers of getting infected, or who could already be carriers of the virus but are not yet being tested?” they asked.

With the number of COVID-19 cases continuously rising, the senators said the DOH could not afford more missteps in handling the situation because lives are at stake.

vuukle comment



  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with