The Department of Health (DOH) is set to perform a pilot test on the use of antigen tests as new tools in identifying coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections.
In a media briefing, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the department has proposed the pilot test to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to check the capacity of antigen tests in providing reliable results during Covid-19 screening.
Antigen tests, which also use swab samples, can reveal or detect if a person is currently infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Results may be released within an hour after the person has been tested.
Earlier, the World Health Organization recommended the use of antigen tests in case of unavailability of reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests, congregate settings, or outbreaks.
“Alam natin ang Baguio ang napili kasi (We know Baguio was selected because) it has an efficient contact tracing system. They have good governance and management in response to Covid-19 and we can see the political commitment of their local officials headed by Mayor Benjamin Magalong,” Vergeire said.
She added the DOH, medical experts and Magalong already had a meeting on Monday morning on the final guidelines and they will present to the IATF on Tuesday for approval.
Source: Philippines News Agency