By Minerva Newman
CEBU CITY—The Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV) appealed to traders not to take advantage of the current health crisis, and stop selling fake and unapproved coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) test kits.
OPAV secretary Michael Lloyd Dino said his office received queries, seeking clarification on specific individuals selling unapproved COVID-19 test kits through social media.
“Wondfo” SARS-CoV Antibody Test is not an approved COVID-19 test kit under the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved list as of March 20,” Dino said.
He added that “these testing kits are not point-of-care kits but are intended for laboratory use only, based on the announcement made by Department of Health (DOH)”.
“I am appealing to the public to never purchase test kits that are tagged as for COVID-19. The government will take care of purchasing the kits. To date, only the government has COVID-19 testing capacity,” Dino said.
The DOH announced that five sub-nationals laboratories are now operating alongside the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) and among these laboratories was the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Visayas, OPAV added.
Additional laboratories will also be reportedly set up at the Western Visayas Medical Center in Iloilo City, one in Bacolod City, and another one in Eastern Visayas.