Locally-made COVID-19 test kits to cost less: health official

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 06 2020 10:58 AM

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MANILA - The locally-made COVID-19 test kits will cost patients around P1,250, a health official said Monday.

The Food and Drug Administration last week said it has approved the test kits developed by the University of the Philippines National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH) and the Philippine Genome Center with the support of the Department of Science and Technology.

"Ang maganda po nito kung meron na tayong local manufacturing mas magiging sustainable at tuloy-tuloy po ang supply ng ating kits," Health Undersecretary and FDA director-general Eric Domingo told radio DZMM.

"Kung bibili tayo (sa ibang bansa) umaabot ng P6,000 po ang ating kwenta. Ang mahirap pa po doon nakikipag-agawan pa sa merkado international dahil napakahirap mag-order ngayon."

Of the initial batch of 120,000 test kits, 26,000 will be bought by the government and distributed to public laboratories, officials earlier said.

The increasing supply of COVID-19 test kits in the country is seen to improve its testing capacity but backlog in laboratories remains a problem, Domingo said.

The Philippines is targeting to conduct 3,000 tests daily by the end of the week, he added.

The country is currently capable of conducting 900 to 1,200 tests daily, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said over the weekend. It is aiming to do 8,000 to 10,000 COVID-19 tests daily eventually, she added.

As of Sunday, the Philippines has recorded some 3,246 COVID-19 cases, including 152 deaths and 64 recoveries.