The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) has started conducting tests for the 2019 novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease or 2019 nCoV ARD, Health Department spokesperson Eric Domingo said Friday.
“They have established the test and now they are running our samples already,” Domingo said at a press conference.
Before the RITM received the primer and reagents needed to conduct confirmatory tests for nCoV, blood samples and oral and throat swabs were sent to the Victorian Infectious Disease Reference Laboratory in Australia.
“It will save a lot of time because yung handling pa lang and then coordinating and transferring human samples that might be infected is so tedious. It takes three to four days to get from here to Australia,” Domingo said.
Actual testing, on the other hand, takes 24 to 48 hours.
Domingo said this will also make it easier and faster for the DOH to determine if a person under investigation for nCoV is positive for the virus or not.
The DOH previously had to choose which samples to send to Australia for testing.
“Ang dami nating ginagawa pa na preliminary test. May screening pa. Tapos pipili lang tayo ng puwede nating ipadala. So ngayon, mas madali na. Pag PUI and we think we need to test for the 2019 ncov, we will be able to do it and do it quickly in the country,” Domingo said.
He added that confirmatory test results on the samples being tested now may be out this weekend. — RSJ, GMA News