Senator Christopher Lawrence Go on Friday called on the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to expedite the processing of new diagnostic kits for Covid-19.
Go made the call in a statement as he stressed the importance of identifying persons infected with Covid-19 in the soonest time possible to stop the transmission of the infectious disease.
“Ito ang dahilan kung bakit importante na pabilisin ang aksyon ng (RITM) sa pag-validate ng test kits, at ng (FDA) sa pagproseso at pag-apruba ng tama at accurate na test kits na gagamitin ng ating mga ospital (This is the reason why it’s important for RITM to speed up the validation of test kits and for FDA to hasten the processing and approval of right and accurate test kits that will be used by hospitals),” he said.
The Department of Health reported 13 new cases of Covid-19 in the country, bringing the total number of infected people to 230, as of Friday.
So far, there are around eight total registered Covid-19 test kits for commercial use in the country, the FDA announced in a separate statement.
Go said the government should act faster, considering that the novel coronavirus spreads quickly.
“Patuloy ang aking panawagan sa mga kinauukulan na i-expedite o pabilisin pa lalo ang proseso sa pag-acquire ng mga test kits, sa pag-assess ng application ng iba pang klaseng test kits na hindi pa aprubado ng FDA, sa pag-validate ng RITM, at sa pagkalat ng mga aprubadong kits sa mga ospital at laboratoryo na may kapasidad na gumamit nito sa iba’t ibang parte ng bansa (I am renewing my call to expedite the processing for the acquisition of test kits, assessment of an application for other test kits that have yet to be approved by the FDA, the validation of test kits by RITM, and the distribution of approved kits to hospitals that have the capacity to use these),” he said.
“Ensuring that the test kits we are using are accurate is as important as having ample supply of those test kits,” Go added.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said some 125,000 test kits from China and South Korea are expected to be delivered to the Philippines on Saturday.
In a Palace press briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said individuals who can only be tested for Covid-19 are those with severe symptoms of the infectious disease, the elderly, and high-risk pregnant women. (PNA)