Senior policy advisor to the Department of Health’s private company Thinkwell Philippines Marife Yap said the laboratories only use one form of reverse transmission-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test kit. Then, it imported from abroad. After that, it typically takes two to three weeks to get there.
“First, there are machine-based laboratories that need only one form of RNA extraction kits or PCR kits. Our laboratories aren’t able to use everything on the market,” said Yap during DOH’s daily virtual presser.
“It’s kind of hard to acquire, as most of these kits are from outside the country. We compete with other countries that need those test kits, too,” she added.
WHO Suggests an RT-PCT Test
The World Health Organisation suggests an RT-PCR test. Then, it will measure the presence of the real coronavirus in swab samples. The test is done manually. And then, it usually takes up to eight hours to complete.
As more local authority agencies run aim experiments, labs get overwhelmed with the amount of samples they collect.
“We have only a small number of people. And also, we can’t rush the process. If you don’t have an automatic extractor, it would do that to people. And should be very cautious and concern to the procedure,” said Yap.
“Our labs are frustrated by the vast number of samples, which is why they can not all be done,” Yap added.
Despite these problems in the massing test and rapid antibody testing kits of the country, Yap noted that some laboratories are calling for assistance from other laboratories in finishing the backlogs, while at the same time seeking to double their time and workforce such as public health as much as possible.