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DOH discards some inaccurate virus test kits from China

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) said it discarded some coronavirus test kits that came from China because these were only 40% accurate.

"Sa mga naunang pinadala sa amin na test kits ng China na nakapagpakita ng 40% accuracy, hindi po natin ito ginamit," said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Saturday, March 28.

(The first batch of test kits sent by China were only 40% accurate so we did not use them.)

Vergeire did not say how many of the 100,000 test kits that came China were inaccurate.

Earlier,  there were news reports that said Spain also withdrew 58,000 test kits from China because these had only 30% detection rate.

Vergeire said test kits from the Chinese firm Sansure Biotech are being used.

According to Vergeire, at least two test kits are used on one patient simultaneously as per the protocol of the World Health Organization.

If both test kits give the same result, then it's considered as having passed the WHO standard.

"Yung Sansure test kits na ibinigay din po sa atin, ito po ay nakapagpakita ng parehong resulta ng test kits galing sa WHO, kaya ito po ay pinayagang gamitin," said Vergeire.

(The Sansure test kits which were also given to us had the same result as the WHO test kit so we authorized its use.)

The DOH still has no capacity for mass testing for now, but 4 sub-national laboratories have just activated full-scale testing, meaning these no longer have to send their samples for validation at the main laboratory, the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM.)

 The 4 labs had previously only been able to conduct 80 to 160 tests per day, while RITM is capable of 900 to 1,000 tests per day. – Rappler.com

Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email lian.buan@rappler.com or tweet @lianbuan.

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