Go signal is given to use UP-developed COVID-19 test kits

blood vials

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given the go signal to use the test kits developed by Filipino scientists from the University of the Philippines to help in the immediate diagnosis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the country.

The team of local experts from the University of the Philippines-National Institute of Health (UPNIH) developed the said test kits with funding from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

“The increasing number of reported COVID-19 cases will require immediate diagnosis and monitoring. This will provide our laboratories with technological reinforcement to accommodate the growing number of patients to be tested and aid in early screening of positive cases,” FDA Director-General Rolando Enrique Domingo said in a statement released Tuesday.

The approval came after the Department of Health (DOH) raised a Code Red sub-level 1 alert, following the first reported localized transmission of COVID-19 in the country.

Domingo said the technology will be used for field testing, coupled with gene sequencing at the Philippine Genome Center, which could provide greater access to a less costly diagnostic procedure.

“The FDA maintains its mandate in ensuring the safety and efficacy of products and devices to protect public health, and commits to cooperate with all agencies in ensuring a prompt response to this global crisis,” he added.

As of today, Wednesday, the total number of cases in the country is at 33.

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