The Philippines has just 2,000 COVID-19 test kits available

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Senators expressed their concern about the limited number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) test kits available in the country.

The stock on hand is sufficient for 2,000 tests, Dr. Rosanna Ditangco of the Tropical Medicine Research Institute (RITM) testified during a Senate investigation.

Ditangco added that the institute had sought an additional P43 million in funding for’ various needs,’ including the procurement of COVID-19 test kits.

In the meantime, another health official said that more equipment had arrived via the World Health Organization (WHO).

There are 4,500 extraction kits coming from WHO. That will be perfect for 2,000 people said by Dr. Alethea De Guzman.

Meanwhile, the Senate Committee on Health and Demography Christopher “Bong” Go said that testing kits should be made available in remote provinces for successful control of the virus.

Senator Imee Marcos, who led the Senate hearing, said she had concerns as to how the DOH would use the proposed additional budget of P2 billion.

Duque had previously stated that President Rodrigo Duterte had approved the supplementary budget “in principle.” Over P2 billion would be for the procurement of protective equipment for health workers and an additional P10 million would be for the supply of face masks in the country, the Health Secretary added.

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