There is light at the end of the tunnel so to speak. Even local scientists are taking steps to look for solutions to the grim situation brought about by COVID-19.
Scientists from the University of the Philippines National Institute of Health (UPNIH) developed test kits for immediate diagnosis and monitoring of the disease. On Tuesday, March 10, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA Philippines) has given its go signal by issuing a Certificate of Exemption for the detection kit.
The kit is technically called GenAmplify COVID-19 rRT-PCR Detection Kit. The team of scientists was led by microbiology and biotechnology expert Dr. Raul Destura, the Deputy Executive Director of the Philippine Genome Center.
Funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the locally produced test kit is cheaper than currently imported materials. The DOST revealed that the foreign kit costs as much as P8,500 while the UP test kit will cost only only P1,320 per test.
Detection kit for COVID-19 developed by UP scientists in February approved by FDA to be used to test samples of the disease in the country. Still waiting for advisory from DOH.
We urge the UP community & the public to call for funding for immediate, pro-people healthcare now! pic.twitter.com/MsObaP9y2E
— UP Office of the Student Regent (@uposr) March 10, 2020
To be available for use however, the UP test kit needs to get approval from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) “emergency use listing”.
As of Wednesday afternoon, March 11, the Philippines has a total of 49 positive cases of COVID-19.
Reference: Interaksyon Report