Here’s what Duterte thinks about dual COVID-19 testing methods

The government has their eyes set on more COVID-19 tests, and there are two options present: rapid test kits or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machines. President Rodrigo Duterte has given the go signal to use both “in conjunction”.

This was announced by the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease on Tuesday. However, it noted that the laboratory-based PCR will still be the “gold standard” of testing.

IATF spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles cited in a virtual briefing that the President’s decision was to use both in conjunction. “Parang dual testing na tayo,” he added.

Thus, the protocol is for physicians to conduct the rapid test and confirm it with the PCR machine and it is important that a physician or doctor can only conduct this test. In this PCR test, the nose and throat swab will be brought to the laboratory for confirmation.

According to the President’s third weekly report, there are 26,000 locally-developed COVID-19 real-time Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) kits that are ready for delivery once the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves. These kits were developed by scientists from the Philippine Genome Center (LGC) and the University of the Philippines (UP) – National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Mass testing for suspected COVID-19 patients began on Tuesday, and aims to process 3,000 tests daily.

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