An official of the Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday said the “primers” or confirmatory test kits used for persons under investigation for potential novel coronavirus (2019-nCov) have arrived in the country.
In a press briefing at the Philippine Blood Center in Quezon City, DOH Undersecretary Eric Domingo reported that the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine will no longer be sending tests for confirmation to Australia because the reagents and the primers it ordered have arrived.
“They are now setting up the laboratory for this, and once the laboratory is set up, within 48 hours, they will be able to start running the tests for the 2019 novel coronavirus in the Philippines,” Domingo said.
Earlier, Domingo said processing time on identifying whether a person is positive of the virus would be shorter by two to three days with the use of such kits.
“Matatanggal ang (What will be removed is the) travel or referral time, every time we need to send a specimen to Australia, it takes us about two days before we arrange it with a courier and for the government of Australia, because we’re transporting potentially infectious materials so clearance takes time,” he added.
Domingo said there are six pending confirmatory testing results that were sent to Australia which the DOH expects to arrive on Thursday or Friday.
He added there are no confirmed cases of the virus nationwide but 23 persons are under close surveillance in local health facilities for possible 2019-nCoV infection while four others have been discharged as they tested negative for the virus.