LGUs allowed to buy rapid test kits: Palace

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 14 2020 04:25 PM

Health workers conduct rapid testing on barangay officials in Barangay Addition Hills, Mandaluyong City, May 7, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA- Local government units are allowed to buy COVID-19 rapid test kits, Malacañang said Thursday.

The government's inter-agency task force on coronavirus response (IATF) allows LGUs to purchase rapid test kits approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said.

"Klinaro po ng IATF na ang mga LGUs ay pinahihintulutan na po bumili at gumamit ng mga anti-body test - iyong rapid testing kits po na aprubado ng FDA," he said.

(The IATF clarified that LGUs are allowed to buy and use anti-body test kits or rapid testing kits that are approved by the FDA).

Roque reiterated President Rodrigo Duterte's earlier word that the chief executive would take responsibility for the use of rapid test kits.

"Alinsunod po ito sa sinabi ng Presidente, siya po ang mananagot sa paggamit ng rapid test kits," Roque said.

(This is in line with the President's word that he would take responsibility for the use of rapid test kits.)

Rapid test kits or immunoassay testing use blood samples. Such kits are unable to detect the COVID-19 virus. Instead, it measures a patient’s antibodies through the blood sample. 

These tests also need confirmation with reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests, regarded by the FDA as the gold standard in COVID-19 testing.