Vice President Leni Robredo’s office has procured P14 million-worth of test kits developed by scientists from the University of the Philippines (UP) for some testing centers in Luzon to boost the country’s efforts for COVID-19 testing.
According to the Office of the Vice President’s media release, Robredo on Friday (April 24) visited the office of test kit manufacturer Manila HealthTek, Inc. and spoke with microbiologist and infectious diseases expert Dr. Raul Destura.
It was Destura who led the team from the University of the Philippines – National Institutes of Health and Philippine Genome Center in developing the GenAmplify™️ COVID-19 rRT-PCR Detection Kit.
The sets the OVP will be delivering to the facilities accredited as laboratories for COVID-19 testing contain detection and extraction kits that can be used to conduct a total of 10,000 tests.
The health facilities include San Lazaro Hospital in Manila City; Lung Center of the Philippines and V. Luna Hospital in Quezon City; and Bicol Regional Diagnostic and Reference Laboratory in Legazpi City, Albay.
In a Facebook post, the OVP said the hospitals and Bicol diagnostic laboratory were chosen as they have yet to receive UP test kits from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
“Bahagi ang hakbang na ito ng patuloy na pagtutulak ni VP Leni na paigtingin pa ng pamahalaan ang pagsasagawa ng testing, upang masiguro na maihihiwalay ang mga nakakuha ng virus, lalo na’t may mga kaso ng asymptomatic patients, o iyong mga hindi nagpapakita ng sintomas,” the OVP said.
It added: “Umaasa tayo na sa pamamagitan ng tulong na ito ay mas mapagtitibay pa natin ang ating sama-samang pagkilos sa ating laban sa COVID-19.”
Prior to this, Robredo’s office delivered P5.3 million-worth of extraction kits to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) last month.