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.