DOH to present initial findings on pilot use of rapid antigen tests in 2 weeks
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) hopes to present before the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) its initial findings of a pilot test on the use of rapid antigen testing in Baguio City in two-week’s time.
According to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, the DOH has already received the initial results of the pilot testing which are now being reviewed by health experts.
“But we still need more data and more details, so we were given by IATF two weeks for us to be able to undertake this pilot use and then do the evaluation,” Vergeire told ABS-CBN News Channel on Tuesday.
“Hopefully by the week after next week, we will be able to present already to the IATF the initial findings and recommendations by the experts,” she added.
The DOH is looking at whether rapid antigen tests can be used for border screening for tourist areas based on the pilot use in Baguio City.
The health department earlier said Baguio City was chosen for the pilot run because of its model contact tracing system.
Antigen tests have a faster turnaround time and are cheaper than reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests. However, the World Health Organization has advised against its use as a screening tool at borders.
“We are trying to see if the government can use it as well so we can have more efficient and faster turnaround methodology that we can use in these borders,” Vergeire said.
“We need to wait for this pilot use and the results of this use so that we can further analyze and evaluate this with experts,” she added.
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