Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) test kits created by the University of the Philippines cannot be used at home, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clarified Wednesday.
In an interview on Super Radyo dzBB, FDA Director-General Eric Domingo said the test kits are not similar to pregnancy tests which can be taken personally.
"[J]ust to be clear lang po, hindi po ito test na maaaring bilhin ng mga indibidwal na mga tao [...] Swa-swab lang po din sila, pagkatapos gagawain po sa laboratory," Domingo said.
"So, hindi po siya parang pregnancy test na pwede po nating gawin sa sarili nating mga bahay," he added.
According to Domingo, pregnancy-type test kits are "very sensitive" which cause them to produce somewhat inaccurate data.
"Wala po'ng ganoon. Wala po'ng mga pregnancy test kit type na mga testing for COVID-19 na available po sa atin, na registered po sa atin," he added.
Last week, health authorities sent out hundreds of COVID-19 test kits to selected hospitals in the country as part of the field testing.
Domingo said the test kits, which can reportedly produce results in less than two hours, are still being validated as of present.
He could not give a specific time for the completion of the validation process and only expressed hope that it may be done this week.
"[K]ailangan i-validate muna nila atsaka maipakita nila na accurate yung test. So, iniintay pa po natin 'yun at [pag] makita po natin na maganda, pwede na po natin i-market 'yun," he said.
Domingo has previously warned the public against buying COVID-19 test kits sold in the local market as there are none registered for commercial distribution yet.
He also urged the public to report said test kits to the DFA.
Meanwhile, agencies attached to the Department of Science and Technology are looking into the production of 26,000 test kits.
COVID-19 cases in the country climbed to 193 on Wednesday with 14 recorded fatalities due to the virus. — RSJ, GMA News