DOH studying use of antigen self-test kits

By: Christia Marie Ramos - Inquirer.net | January 05,2022 - 10:53 AM
Kits used to test for Covid-19 coronavirus are displayed in a vending machine at an MTR underground metro train station in Hong Kong on December 7, 2020. (Photo by Anthony WALLACE / AFP)

Kits used to test for COVID-19 coronavirus are displayed in a vending machine at an MTR underground metro train station in Hong Kong on December 7, 2020. (Photo by Anthony WALLACE / AFP)

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) is studying whether to recommend the use of antigen self-test kits to detect COVID-19, Health Undersecretary Ma. Rosario Vergeire said Wednesday.

“Pinagaaralan po ‘yan [We are studying that],” Vergeire said in an interview over Teleradyo when asked if the DOH will recommend self-testing using antigen kits.

According to Vergeire, the DOH met with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) and its experts.

“Kailangan lang ho nating masiguro na wala tayong misuse of the self-test antigen dahil alam naman po natin na meron po tayong tinatawag na right test at the right time at appropriate use,” she said.

(We just need to ensure that there is no misuse of the self-test antigen because we should use the right test at the right time, there should be appropriate use.)

“Pinagaaralan po kung paano po natin maisasagawa na hindi naman po magkakaroon ng inaccurate results ang ating mga kababayan,” she added.

(We are studying how we can use this in a way that there would be no inaccurate results.)

“Ang isa pa ho, kailangan din lang ng FDA na magkaroon ng isang rehistrado or rehistrado na mga self-test antigen test kits sa ating bansa,” she further said.

(Another thing, the FDA would need to register self-test antigen test kits in our country.)

Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong recently pushed for the use of antigen self-test kits in the city to speed up the detection of COVID-19 cases amid the threat of the Omicron variant.

“Our city could be the pilot site for these do-it-yourself testing kits that are widely used in the US, Canada, Europe, and Singapore,” Magalong said in a previous statement.

The mayor said he will also seek the approval of the National Task Force for COVID-19 through Chief Implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.

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TAGS: COVID-19 self-test kits, DOH, FDA, RITM

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