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BAGUIO CITY – A test kit that can detect the Coronavirus in a matter of minutes that is more affordable than the widely used real time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) is now available in the market.
The Food and Drug Administration approved Standard Q COVID-19 Antigen Test kit by SD Biosensor (Korea) can detect Covid-19 in just a matter of 15-30 minutes compared to the 2-3 days of the RT-PCR kit.
It also costs less than P1,000, a third of the RT-PCR test kit which all Department of Health accredited molecular laboratories use.
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The specimens/samples are collected using the Nasopharyngeal Specimen more commonly known as the swab test and has a Sensitivity of 96.52 percent and Specificity of 99.68 percent. A positive result from the antigen test kits means that the case is a true positive and does not need to be validated with the PCR. They are currently being rolled out in Brazil, India, Guatemala, Malaysia, Europe and Africa to name a few.
- The Philippines has yet to include this test kit in the algorithm and diagnostic flow although Secretary Karlo Nograles has indicated that the IATF is studying the inclusion on the use of antigen rapid test kits. The tool is being distributed by Trulaboratories Corporation, for inquiries you may contact them at 09279950327.
At present, the virus has infected more than 80,000 Filipinos as the DOH said there is an urgent need to step up contact tracing so as to contain the virus and de load the health systems so that they can maximize care for Covid-19 patients.
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