The Department of Health (DoH) said that it is not yet considering to use rapid diagnostic test (RDT) kits for the detection of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) until it has been proven effective by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III expressed confidence on the current capacity of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) to test persons under investigation for possible infection of COVID-19, noting that the test result may come out between 24 to 48 hours. “This is a far more tedious testing procedure,” he said.
Duque said that RDTs may provide “false sense of security.”
“The last thing I want is to have a rapid diagnostic test, where it might produce false negatives. That is scary. I’ll say you’re negative then I’ll let you go out, then find out later that you’re really positive,” he said.
“I’m not going to just use an RDT that has not been vetted by a third party–a credible third party–who will say ‘yes, this particular rapid diagnostic test has passed stringent standards of quality, safety, specificity, and sensitivity,”’ he added. (Analou de Vera)