Initial batch of 30,000 COVID-19 rapid antigen test kits arriving - DOH | Inquirer News
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Initial batch of 30,000 COVID-19 rapid antigen test kits arriving – DOH

/ 01:11 PM March 31, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — An initial batch of 30,000 rapid antigen test kits are set to arrive in the Philippines to ramp up testing for COVID-19, the Department of Health (DOH) said Wednesday.

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Citing information from testing czar Secretary Vince Dizon, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the 30,000 kits are among the 500,000 antigen test kits that are being procured by the government.

“The national government is procuring. Our initial discussion was a total of 500,000 antigen tests. Ito ay inaayos na. Sabi ni Secretary Vince Dizon, our testing czar, meron tayong initial na 30,000 na makakarating the soonest possible time na maiayos natin lahat ng kailangan for financial documents,” Vergeire said in an online press briefing.

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(The national government is procuring. Our initial discussion was for a total of 500,000 antigen tests. This is being finalized. According to testing czar Secretary Vince Dizon, an initial 30,000 test kits are arriving at the soonest possible time upon completion of financial documents.)

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire (Screengrab from the DOH Facebook page)

The plan to procure 500,000 antigen test kits for house-to-house testing was bared by Malacañang on Saturday. 

Aside from the arriving test kits, Vergeire said the World Health Organization (WHO) has also vowed to provide 20,000 rapid antigen test kits to the country.

She said the DOH hopes the test kits from WHO will arrive this weekend.

Vergeire earlier said that those who tested positive through rapid antigen testing in the so-called “NCR Plus”, which covers Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, and Bulacan, will now be included in the official tally of infections.

According to Vergeire, rapid antigen testing will be used for those with COVID-19 symptoms, those who were exposed to a patient, or close contacts of confirmed cases in the NCR Plus.

However, the antigen test will still not be used for COVID-19 screening at work or in certain establishments.

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As of Tuesday, the country has a total of 741,181 COVID-19 cases, including 124,680 active infections, 603,310 recoveries, and 13,191 deaths.

The highest single-day tally of coronavirus cases was recorded on Monday with 10,016 additional infections. 

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