COVID-19 Diagnosis Tools from South Korea, China Coming

Local hospitals may soon expect to use some 3,500 new testing kits for the novel coronavirus disease, all courtesy of South Korea and China.

The COVID-19 kits are awaiting approval from the Food and Drug Administration, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said on Saturday.

In a media briefing, Duque said the Department of Health hoped to speed up testing for the novel coronavirus as Metro Manila goes into a monthlong “community quarantine.”

The secretary said, “There is a global shortage of rapid diagnostic tests that is polymerase chain reaction-based,” referring to the technology used in identifying the “fingerprint” of the virus. He added that the DOH was “hoping to expand [its] capacity soon.”

Around 500 testing kits donated by South Korea arrived on Friday, to be followed by a thousand more, he added. Another batch of 2,000 kits is expected from China.


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