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Technology capable of releasing COVID-19 test results in 45 minutes arriving in Philippines —DOH


The technology that could release faster laboratory results of COVID-19 tests is arriving in the country on Monday, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

"Mayroon po tayong Gene Xpert sa bansa na ginagamit para sa tuberculosis. Ngayon po naka-develop po ng bagong cartridge na puwede rin sa COVID at ito ay inaasahan na magkaroon din tayo dito para makatulong sa kapasidad ng ating mga laboratoryo," Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told Unang Balita.

"April 20, ngayong araw, ang dating ng cartridges. Pagkatapos, iba-validate ito ng RITM (Research Institute for Tropical Medicine) para makita natin kung compatible at ito ay of quality," she added.

Test results of specimens could be released in as fast as 45 minutes to one hour using the said technology, according to the health official.

"Mayroon na tayong ina-assess ngayon na centers na puwedeng gumamit nito para ating makatulong," she added.

Last Saturday, Vergeire said 3,000 Gene Xpert test kits are expected to arrive this week. She said figures on the coverage of the expanded mass testing are yet to be released.

According to the DOH's online tracker, over 52,000 individuals nationwide have undergone COVID-19 tests as of April 18.

As of April 19, the Philippines recorded a total of 6,259 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 409 deaths and 572 recoveries. --Dona Magsino/KBK, GMA News