- They will release the kit next week to the DOH for evaluation.
- Test kits are a rapid diagnostic test that can detect viruses
The Department of Health has been monitoring the outbreak of the Novel coronavirus (2019-nCov) from Wuhan, China.
This new virus can be easily transmitted by coughing and sneezing.
In the Philippines, as of February 5, there are 3 confirmed cases of nCov and 133 patients that are under investigation. Test kits are needed to identify patients if they are positive with the coronavirus.
On Tuesday, a scientist at the University of the Philippines National Institutes of Health announced that they have developed a test kit for the novel coronavirus. Clinician Raul Destura told the Senate inquiry on the nCov that they will release the kit next week to the DOH for evaluation.
“This was developed two weeks ago immediately after they released the whole genome sequence of the virus,” Destura said.
“Hopefully by next week, it would be ready for the DOH to verify and validate before they give their recommendation for use in the country,” he added.
According to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, test kits are a rapid diagnostic test that can detect viruses. As of now, the DOH is making use of primers from Japan for the confirmatory test since test kits are unavailable in the market.
“Itong ginagamit natin is a chemical na pinadala po sa atin, RNA primer. So it’s like a code that more or less it will guide you to identify. This is exactly the virus that’s similar to the one in Wuhan,” Duque said.
Rabindra Abeyasinghe of WHO Country Representative said that they were working to create rapid diagnostic test kits together with several research groups.
“The assessments of the test kits will not be completed for about another week to 10 days, after which we have agreed that we will provide test kits to the Philippines and other member states at risk,” Abeyasinghe said.