UP-developed COVID-19 test kit faster, cheaper than Japan’s-FDA

The Food and Drug Administration () said the COVID-19 kit developed by the University of the Philippines (UP) scientists has a faster running time than that of Japan, Wednesday.

FDA said UP’s testing kit could yield results in two hours.

Director-General of FDA Eric Domingo said the testing tool from Japan, which is currently being used to diagnose the new coronavirus, has a running time of 24 hours.

“Itong bagong na-develop ng mga scientists natin sa UP National Institutes of Health, pinaikli nila ‘yung running time to less than two hours,” he said in an interview on Unang Balita. UP National Institutes of Health,

(This newly-developed test kit of our scientists in UP National Institutes of Health, it lessen the running time to less than two hours.)

On Tuesday, the FDA approved the use of locally-developed test kits for the detection of COVID-19 as confirmed cases of the deadly disease jumped from 24 to 33.

Also read: UP Diliman has PUI for novel coronavirus infection

UP-developed COVID-19 test kit faster, cheaper than Japan’s

The test kit is also less expensive, costing less than P1,500 compared with Japan’s imported kit, which costs P20,000 to P30,000, according to Domingo.

“Sa ngayon kasi gobyerno pa rin naman ang magbabayad. Kahit babayaran natin siya, ang sabi ng UP, maibababa nila ‘yung presyo to less than P1,500,” he said.

(For now, the government will pay. Even if we pay them, UP said they could lower the price to less than P1,500.)

Domingo, meanwhile, warned the public against buying unauthorized test kits, noting that only the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine and UP have testing centers for COVID-19 in the country.

Research Institute on Tropical Medicine (RITM) said Monday the Philippines has only 2,000 available coronavirus or COVID-19 testing kits during a Senate inquiry.