Gov’t wants antigen tests monitored, eyes inclusion of results in case tally
MANILA, Philippines — The task force managing the country’s COVID-19 response has ordered that the monitoring of the use of rapid antigen test kits be strengthened as it eyes to include the positive results from the tests into the country’s COVID-19 caseload, Malacañang said Friday.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) ordered regional IATFs to “monitor the allocation and utilization of rapid antigen tests to further improve the reporting of COVID-19 cases.”
The IATF also tasked the Department of Health National Capital Region Center for Health Development (DOH NCR CHD) to facilitate the registration of facilities conducting rapid antigen tests.
The IATF also ordered that antigen line lists be collected and consolidated from health facilities, temporary treatment and monitoring facilities, and their own local government units for submission to the DOH.
Asked if the IATF order intends to include persons who will test positive in the rapid antigen tests into the country’s COVID-19 case bulletin, Roque said: “Yan po ang ating objective para maging mas mabuti yung picture natin kung ilan ang total cases natin.”
(That’s our objective so we can see a better picture of the total COVID cases we have.)
“Pero syempre, yung mga positibo, subject pa rin po yan for confirmatory tests,” he added.
(But still, those who test positive via an antigen test are still subject to confirmatory tests.)
To prepare for this, Roque said the IATF also raised the possibility of augmenting the number of disease surveillance staff and encoders.
The DOH said antigen test results are still not included in the country’s daily COVID-19 tally as it continues to study its accuracy and use.
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