PH testing czar backs serology testing
MANILA, Philippines — Vince Dizon, country’s testing czar, threw his support behind the serology testing machines used for COVID-19 mass testing in Manila, saying it is more accurate than the rapid antibody test.
“‘Yung serology test, kakaiba yung ginagamit ng Manila, yung Abott, is mas accurate ‘yan kaysa dun sa rapid antibody test,” Dizon said during a press conference at Manuel L. Quezon university.
(The serology test, which is being used in Manila, Abott machine is more accurate than the rapid antibody test.)
“Ang serology test, laboratory-based test ‘yan. May makina kukuhanan mo ng dugo yung pasyente at i-te-test mo ‘yun, mas ‘di hamak na mas accurate yan,” he added.
(The serology test is a laboratory-based test. There is a machine wherein to extract the blood of the patient, have it tested this means it is more accurate.)
Dizon reiterated the Department of Health’s advice that rapid antibody tests cannot be used solely for screening patients for COVID-19.
“‘Yung anti-body test hindi pwedeng gamitin as a stand alone screening test, ‘yun ang sinasabi ng DOH. Kailangan ito ay gagamitin kasama ng ibang paraan tulad ng quarantine, surveillance kung may sintomas ka at ikatlo, yung PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction or swab test),” he said.
(The antibody test is not allowed as a stand alone screening test, that is what DOH said. This should be done with added protocols such as quarantine, surveillance on their symptoms and PCR testing.)
The RT-PCR is the “gold standard” or the most accurate test for tracing COVID-19 patients.
Medical groups explained that rapid tests are not recommended as “two-third” of the results are false positive. They said that the kits do not detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes COVID-19, but finds antibodies a person has developed from a current or past infection.
In another statement on Thursday, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno clarified that the city is using serology testing machines to augment their mass testing. It is used for the city’s mobile testing, drive-thru and walk-in facilities.
“The City of Manila acquired a machine (for) Serology Antibody Laboratory Testing. This has an accuracy rate of 99.6-percent specificity and 100-percent sensitivity,” he said.
Manila, nonetheless, is still using swab testing to test their citizens as per protocols of DOH.
“We continue to follow the guidelines of Department of Health, which (includes) swab testing, tuloy-tuloy pa rin yun,” he said.