Gov’t eyeing COVID-19 tests in pharmacies
MANILA, Philippines — The government will look into the possibility of conducting COVID-19 tests in pharmacies as they rolled out vaccination in select drugstores in Metro Manila on Thursday.
“Ngayon po ay ina-allow na ‘yan sa mga clinics pero magandang idea po ‘yan (Currently that is allowed in clinics but that is a good idea) and we will look into that,” presidential adviser for COVID-19 response Secretary Vince Dizon said on CNN Philippines’ The Source when asked if they are considering testing in pharmacies.
“I think the important thing is, we really have to find innovative ways of trying to live with this—because I think we’re going to have to live with this for the foreseeable future—and we’re going to have to empower people, communities, families to be able to find ways to live and deal with COVID-19,” he continued.
Dizon likewise raised the importance of allowing accredited antigen test kits for home use to detect if a person is infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
“Ang important din, in the same way dito sa ginagawa natin sa mga botika, tingin ko dapat talaga masusi na rin nating pag-aralan ‘yung ginagawa sa ibang bansa na pinapayagan ‘yung mga accredited self-home test antigen kits para mabigyan din ng paraan ang ating mga kababayan na i-exercise ang kanilang mga responsibilidad bilang mga Pilipino at with proper guidance, ay i-test nila ang sarili nila at kung sila ay lumabas na positibo, dapat responsable sila na hindi na sila lalabas ng bahay. Tingin ko ‘yun ang way forward natin,” he explained.
(What is also important, in the same way that we are holding vaccinations in pharmacies, I think we have to study what other countries are doing, allowing accredited self-home test antigen kits to give citizens a way to exercise their responsibility and with proper guidance, they could test themselves and if they test positive, they should be responsible to not leave their residence. I think that’s our way forward.)
To date, 11 manufacturers of self-administered COVID-19 test kits have applied for the Food and Drug Administration’s approval.
Citing the Department of Health, Dizon said that the country has sufficient reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and antigen test kits in laboratories nationwide.
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