DOH adjusts target for inclusion of antigen test results in COVID-19 tally
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) has adjusted to next week its target of including rapid antigen test results in the daily tally of additional COVID-19 cases, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Saturday.
Last Saturday, Vergeire said the DOH will gradually reflect positive results from antigen tests in the country’s daily tally of COVID cases this week.
“We are still validating and trying to complete the data. Hopefully this coming week, we can already include these antigen test results,” Vergeire said at the Laging Handa public briefing.
“Sa ngayon po meron na kaming numero on how much are validated and can be included as positive samples dito po sa ating reported cases. Ang hinahanap po natin ngayon ay ‘yung kabuuan o ilan ba ang nagamit at ito lang ang nakikita nating nagpositibo,” she explained.
(Right now, we already have a figure on how many are validated results and can be included as positive samples in our reported cases. We are just looking at the entire figure on how many test kits were used that we are only seeing this number of positive results.)
The DOH earlier said that rapid antigen tests could be used in outbreak areas. It added that antigen testing should not be used for border control, pre-travel testing, workplace screening, or testing of asymptomatic general contacts. Individuals who test negative for COVID-19 in rapid antigen tests should also undergo a confirmatory RT-PCR or repeat antigen test.
However, Vergeire said that other people are using rapid antigen testing in the wrong settings.
“People are using it for screening, borders, screening for work, screening for certain activities, and that is not the right or proper use of antigen at baka magkaroon tayo ng (and we may get) inaccurate results,” she said.
The DOH has yet to categorically confirm if COVID-19 cases in the country are indeed decreasing, citing the lower laboratory testing output possibly due to unreported antigen test results, and the still high hospital occupancy.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.