The Department of Health (DOH) said that positive results from rapid antigen tests are not yet included in the daily tally of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases.
“Pinag-aaralan pa ito ng mas maayos. Soon, sana maayos na at madagdag na sa counts natin (It is still being evaluated. Soon, we will be able to fix this and include them in our daily counts),” said DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Friday, Sept. 17.
Vergeire said that some antigen test results submitted to the DOH were not accurate.
“From the past run, there were about 10,000 reported antigen test positive [results] na dumating sa atin. Pero nung nilinis natin, mga 3,000 lang ang valid (that were submitted to us. But when we verified them, only about 3,000 were valid),” said Vergeire.
With this, Vergeire said that including antigen test results in the daily case count now “might lead to inaccurate reports of positive cases.”
Vergeire said that some local government units (LGUs) use the antigen test “inappropriately.”
“Some of the local governments use this for screening employees, screening those going to pictorials, screening those who are going to weddings. Hindi po iyan appropriate use ng antigen test, kaya hindi po natin iyan pwedeng tanggapin (That is not the appropriate use of antigen test, so we cannot accept that),” she said.
“But definitely, kahit hindi nasasama sa total counts, lahat ng nag-positive [sa antigen] (even if not included in the total counts, those who tested positive), whether it is validated or not, appropriate or not, they are being managed in our local governments as being a positive case,” she added.
Last March, the DOH announced that the rapid antigen test results will be included in the official daily case bulletin.
Meanwhile, positive results from saliva tests are already included in the daily case count, said Vergeire.
“Itong saliva kasama naman na talaga. Ang saliva ay considered rtpcr kaya kasama sa reported yan (The results from saliva tests are included. Saliva test is considered RT-PCR that is why it is included in the reporting),” she said.
“It is an RT-PCR but uses an alternative specimen which is saliva,” she added.