UP-NIH recalls all its COVID-19 test kits over ‘very minor’ defect
MANILA, Philippines — The University of the Philippines-National institutes of Health (UP-NIH) has recalled all the test kits for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) it had produced, over a “very minor” defect in the kits.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Wednesday said the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) saw a “very minor” problem in the testing kits when the UP-NIH submitted it for validation.
The UP-NIH has already recalled all the testing kits distributed so that they could correct the problem. The UP-NIH had initially rolled-out 26,000 of the test kits.
“Nakita nila (UP-NIH) at sila ay aminado na mayroong problema yung kanilang kits na very minor lang naman,” Vergeire told reporters in an online media forum.
(They saw the defect and they admit that the test has problems but it is only very minor.)
“What they did is they recalled lahat ng testing kits na naipamigay na o nakahanda na ipamigay sa iba’t ibang facilities para i-ayos nila ‘yung naging minor na dapat i-correct sa testing kits,” she added.
(What they did is they recalled all testing kits distributed or ready to be distributed to different facilities to correct the minor deficiencies in the testing kits.)
The UP-NIH is currently at the final stages of correcting the identified deficiency of the kits, Vergeire said, and it is eyeing to submit the kits to RITM for validation.
Last April, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the locally-made kits for commercial use.
This is the first locally made polymerase chain reaction-based COVID-19 test kit approved by the FDA which was developed in collaboration with the University of the Philippines-National institute of Health (UP-NIH) and funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
The test kits cost about P1,250 each and are cheaper than the test kits bought internationally which cost about P6,000 on average.
The kits can also produce results in two to three hours from testing.
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