DOH: Coronavirus test kits from China ‘at par’ with WHO standards

Published March 29, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Analou De Vera

The Department of Health (DOH) clarified on March 29, Sunday, that the initial coronavirus testing kits donated by China have been assessed and were “at par” with the standards of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Health Assistant Secretary Maria Vergeire (Facebook)
Health Assistant Secretary Maria Vergeire (Facebook)

“The Department of Health wishes to clarify that the initial 2,000 BGI RT-PCR (Real Time- Polymerase Chain Reaction) test kits and the 100,000 Sansure RT-PCR test kits donated by the Chinese government have been assessed by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine to be at par with the test kits provided by the World Health Organization after parallel testing were done,” the DOH said in a statement.

The DOH said that the “Sansure test kits contain all required reagents to run the test successfully. This means that no other reagents will need to be separately procured by the Philippine government to use the test kits.”

The Department issued the statement after Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that an initial batch of test kits donated by China were found to only have a 40 percent accuracy detection rate.

“Sa mga naunang pinadala sa amin na test kits from China na nakapagpakita ng 40 percent accuracy—hindi po natin ito ginamit dahil nakita na mababa ang accuracy natin dito. Kaya ito nalang po ay ating itinago (We did not use the initial test kits we received from China, which showed only 40 percent accuracy, because of these low rates. We just put them in storage),” said Vergeire in a press briefing on March 28, Saturday night.

The DOH said that the test kits mentioned by Vergeire refers to “another brand of test kits that was proposed to be donated by a private foundation.”

“The DOH apologizes for any confusion that previously issued statements have caused,” it said.