DOST eyes mass production of locally-developed COVID-19 test kit in April

Marje Pelayo

MANILA, Philippines – The field testing of the locally-developed test kit for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is in its last phase.

The test kit was invented by the Dr. Raul Destura of the University of the Philippines (UP) National Health Institute.

Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña, meanwhile, noted that once the field testing is done and upon the permission of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), they will proceed with the mass production.

“Ang time table namin, umaasa kasi na by April 3 mabigyan na ng product certificate of registration and then maguumpisa na yung commercial production, (Based on our time table, we are hoping that by April 3 [the FDA] would issue a product certificate of registration so we can proceed to commercial production),” Secretary Dela Peña said.

The DOST will prioritize production of 26,000 test kits to be distributed to the Philippine General Hospital, Makati Medical Center, The Medical City, Baguio General Hospital, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center and the Southern Philippines Medical Center.

Meanwhile, the remaining units from the total of 120,000 test kits will be sold commercially at around P1,300 per kit which is cheaper than the units currently being used in hospitals which cost about P8,000.

Tests using the Filipino-brand COVID-19 test kits will take only about one and a half hour including the results. MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

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