Eleazar cautions public against the use of self-administered home Covid-19 test kits

Eleazar cautions public against the use of self-administered home Covid-19 test kits

By Tracy Cabrera

The government has been discussing plans to subsidize antigen self-test kits but this has not been approved until now. (PNA)

MANILA — With most laboratories and medical facilities swamped with a marked increase of people wanting to undergo either antigen or the golden standard RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) test, former Task Force Covid Shield chief implementor and senatorial aspirant Guillermo Eleazar has expressed misgivings over the use of self-administered home test kits by those showing symptoms of Covid-19 or mere flu, fever and influenza.

The former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief said there is an unquantified aspect in people conducting their own Covid testing at home which poses as a problem to the government’s coronavirus pandemic response which among others stipulates a quarantine period for those who test positive for infection.

“Paano kung magpositibo sa Covid-19, mag papa-quarantine ba sila o babalewalain lang?” the retired police general quipped.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it has yet to approve a self-administered Covid-19 home testing kit.

In this light, all healthcare practitioners and professionals as well as the general public are advised not to purchase and use the said in-vitro devices.

The FDA likewise warned all concerned establishments not to distribute, advertise or sell the uncertified medical devices until an FDA Special Certification has been issued for their use because, otherwise, regulatory actions and sanctions would be strictly pursued against those involved.

However, all FDA regional field offices and regulatory enforcement units in coordination with law enforcement agencies and local government were also informed that the FDA has OPENED applications for the certification of home test kits for Covid-19 amid the demand for testing due to the increasing infection rate since about a week ago.

“I am calling po all the manufacturers and even the importers of self-administered COVID-19 test kits to register their product in a form of special certification,” FDA officer-in-charge Dr. Oscar Gutierrez Jr. said.

Gutierrez disclosed that he has already met with the Department of Health (DoH) for the issuance of the guidelines on the use of these self-administered kits and how people who use them can report the results.

(ai/mtvn)

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