October 23, 2021

In the ‘new normal,’ the DTI chief advocates for at-home Covid-19 testing

As the country proceeds toward the “new normal,” rapid test kits should be available at home, according to the country’s top trade official on October 20, 2021.

During an interview with Radyo Pilipinas, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez remarked in Filipino, “Our SOP — standard operating procedure — should be that each person has an antigen test (kit) on your own.”

According to Lopez, this has been done in countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States so that people may test themselves whether they have a viral infection, which is especially important if they are attending meetings where a large number of people may be exposed to the virus.

“But that is going to be the new normal,” he added, “which you can test on your own.”

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved any self-administered test kits, but the agency has already contacted the Department of Health (DOH) to seek their input on the topic.

Individuals must visit clinics or testing centers to be screened for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) using a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test, which is the gold standard for coronavirus diagnosis.

DFA Director-General Eric Domingo stated earlier this month that his agency is waiting to hear from the Department of Health on whether self-administered testing can help the government fight Covid-19.

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