- Scientists from the University of the Philippines developed COVID-19 testing kits.
- This project was funded by the Department of Science and Technology.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) test kits which were developed by local scientists from the University of the Philippines (UP) have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
In a statement on March 10, the FDA has issued a certificate of exemption for the test kits developed by UP National Institute of Health (UPNIH) which was initially funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
“This supports the CODE RED status raised by the Department of Health (DOH) and the recent declaration of President Rodrigo Duterte of a state of Public Health Emergency,” FDA stated.
This was after President Rodrigo Duterte declared a public health emergency over the threat of the virus.
On March 9, the Department of Health (DOH) admitted that the lack of testing supplies may have lead to the “unintentional” underreporting of COVID-19 cases in the country. Health Secretary Francisco Duque III issued the statement after Senator Panfilo Lacson claimed that DOH may have underreported the cases.
“He said there is a possibility of underreporting, although unintentionally. That’s the statement of Senator Lacson,” Duque said a press briefing in Malacañang.
“This is largely because of our limited testing supplies. As soon as we get more, we will be able to expand the coverage of who will be tested.”
The number of confirmed cases in the Philippines has increased to 24 in the span of two days.