DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Health officials clarified that there are no available commercial testing kits for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the market, asking the public to refrain from buying so-called “effective testing kits” being sold online.
Undersecretary of Health Dr. Abdullah Dumama Jr., on Thursday explained that COVID-19 cannot be detected through a blood test as it was claimed by online sellers in order to attract buyers.
Sellers through social media reportedly claimed that using the “testing kit” can easily detect if a person is positive with the virus.
“The test for COVID-19 is not through the blood test itself. This is a false claim,” Dr. Dumama clarified.
Testing for COVID-19 can only be done by medical workers with knowledge on strict protocols of the virus. A patient under monitoring and investigation can undergo testing through pharyngeal swab test that will be analyzed by a machine operated by “technically versed individual.”
He further stressed that there are no commercial company registered to produce testing kit while all kits are under government supervision.
In a statement, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also said that there are “no registered” COVID-19 diagnostic test kit available to the public “because no company has complied with the minimum set of requirements.
FDA said that for imported test kits, they only require a License to Operate (LTO) as a distributor and a Certificate of Product Registration (CPR) from a reliable and mature national regulatory agency (NRA) such as their counterparts in the United States, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Europe and among others or Certificate of Prequalification or Emergency Use Listing from the World Health Organization.
“We cannot vouch for its safety and efficacy by merely accepting the stated claims of a testing kit without the proper regulatory certification from the country of origin and a reliable NRA. These kits may give false positive and false negative results that may affect the response to this pandemic. They may also be counterfeit products that will not test for the novel coronavirus at all,” FDA Director-General Eric Domingo said. (davaotoday.com)