The Philippines is purchasing 19,000 test kits for COVID-19 as it prepared for the arrival of almost 500 Filipinos from the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined in Japan. The ship has the second highest number of people who tested positive for COVID-19 outside China.
Polymerase chain reaction kits allow laboratories to detect the coronavirus from samples sent by patients suspected of having the COVID-19 disease. The Philippine government has tested hundreds of people already with the PCR kits with only three testing positive.
Of the 3,200 passengers of the cruise ship, more than 500 are Filipinos. Fifty-nine of them have tested positive for the COVID-19 and will stay behind until they recover.
The DOH said the repatriation of the Filipios from the cruise ship involves two chartered flights that arrives three hours apart at the Clark International Airport in Pampanga.