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FDA: Online sale of COVID-19 test kits prohibited
FDA director general Eric Domingo reiterated that online selling of FDA-certified test kits for COVID-19 such as reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), antibody and antigen-based is illegal and “strictly prohibited.”
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FDA: Online sale of COVID-19 test kits prohibited

Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - March 6, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The online sale of coronavirus disease test kits remains “strictly prohibited,” the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said yesterday as the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) urged the public to exercise “extraordinary diligence” in getting checked for infection.

FDA director general Eric Domingo reiterated that online selling of FDA-certified test kits for COVID-19 such as reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), antibody and antigen-based is illegal and “strictly prohibited.”

“These COVID-19 test kits with FDA special certification are strictly for medical professional use and not intended for personal use,” he noted in an advisory.

PRC chairman Sen. Richard Gordon advised the public to take “extraordinary diligence” in getting tested for COVID-19.

Gordon underscored the importance of continuously testing, tracing and treating the virus even with the vaccination rollout.

“The government should not slow down in testing for COVID-19 because if people are not tested, they can unknowingly spread the virus to others,” he said.

Based on the March 4 case bulletin of the Department of Health (DOH), about 95 percent of the 584,667 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country are mild and asymptomatic.

Data showed that since its launch last month, testing saliva samples using RT-PCR machines has allowed the PRC to process nearly 24,000 specimens in their Molecular Laboratories nationwide.

MANILA, Philippines — The online sale of coronavirus disease test kits remains “strictly prohibited,” the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said yesterday as the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) urged the public to exercise “extraordinary diligence” in getting checked for infection.

FDA director general Eric Domingo reiterated that online selling of FDA-certified test kits for COVID-19 such as reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), antibody and antigen-based is illegal and “strictly prohibited.”

“These COVID-19 test kits with FDA special certification are strictly for medical professional use and not intended for personal use,” he noted in an advisory.

PRC chairman Sen. Richard Gordon advised the public to take “extraordinary diligence” in getting tested for COVID-19.

Gordon underscored the importance of continuously testing, tracing and treating the virus even with the vaccination rollout.

“The government should not slow down in testing for COVID-19 because if people are not tested, they can unknowingly spread the virus to others,” he said.

Based on the March 4 case bulletin of the Department of Health (DOH), about 95 percent of the 584,667 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country are mild and asymptomatic.

Data showed that since its launch last month, testing saliva samples using RT-PCR machines has allowed the PRC to process nearly 24,000 specimens in their Molecular Laboratories nationwide.

Gordon has inked partnerships with the private sector to offer the “cheaper, non-invasive but accurate” saliva tests via drive-thru collection booths in malls and through home service.

At present, the PRC has conducted more than two million swab tests nationwide, accounting for 24 percent of the country’s testing output, and about 37 percent of testing in Metro Manila.

Customs clearance

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) gave assurance yesterday that “not a single dose of fake COVID-19 vaccines will be released” from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Customs district collector Carmelita Talusan guaranteed strict processing at the Customs one-stop shop at NAIA, following the prompt clearing and release of 487,200 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines that arrived Thursday night.

“The bureau cleared the shipment through advance clearance process handled by the Department of Health to ensure expedient release and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to reach its destination on time,” Talusan said.

Clearing and releasing took less than an hour.

President Duterte, together with Sen. Bong Go, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. and other officials welcomed the arrival of the AstraZeneca jabs at Villamor Air Base in Pasay City.

Customs chief Rey Leonardo Guerrero and his deputy, Edward James Dy Buco, were also present as the BOC’s COVAX Special Handling Task Force handled underguarding duties from the Villamor Air Base to Metropac Facility in Marikina City, where the vaccines were stored. –  Rudy Santos

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