Food and Drug Authority (FDA) said Monday the University of the Philippines-National institute of Health (UP-NIH) could produce 8,000 test kits for COVID-19 per day.
The UP-NIH has 26,000 test kits ready for roll-out after its approval for commercial use, said FDA Director-General Eric Domingo.
“Ngayon may naka-stockpile sila na about 26,000 kits at kaya raw nila magproduce ng mga 8,000 per day… Ang maganda nito, kung mayroon na tayong local na manufacturing, mas magiging sutainable at tuluy-tuloy ang supply ng ating kits,” he said in an interview over dzMM.
(As of now, they have a stock of 26,000 kits and they can produce about 8,000 kits per day. What is good about this is, if we can locally manufacture test kits, our supply will be sustainable.)
“‘Yun ang kanilang projection, kapag nag-full blast sila aabot sila ng 8,000 per day na ma-produce,” Domingo added.
(That is their projection, if they go full-blast on production, they can produce about 8,000 kits per day.)
UP-NIH developed COVID-19 test kits faster, cheaper than Japan’s
FDA earlier said the locally manufactured test kits yield results quicker and are a lot less expensive than that of Japan.
FDA said UP’s testing kit could yield results in two hours.
Domingo said the testing tool from Japan, which is currently being used to diagnose the new coronavirus, has a running time of 24 hours.
The test kit is also less expensive, costing P1,300 compared with Japan’s imported kit, which costs P20,000 to P30,000, according to Domingo.
The Department of Health (DOH) earlier received a total of 140,000 test kits as donations, Domingo said, and as of Friday last week, it still has 80,000 test kits left.
DOH eyes COVID-19 mass testing to begin April 14
The government is targeting to conduct 3,000 COVID-19 tests per day by April 14 and 8,000 tests per day by the end of April.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III announced that the Western Visayas Medical Center received certification to conduct COVID-19 tests, bringing the total number of accredited laboratories in the country to eight:
- Research Institute for Tropical Medicine
- Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center
- San Lazaro Hospital
- Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center
- Southern Philippines Medical Center
- University of the Philippines-National Institute of Health
- Lung Center of the Philippines
- Western Visayas Medical Center