The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it has issued a Certificate of Exemption for a COVID-19 detection kit developed by the University of the Philippines National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Lead scientist Raul Destura stated that scientists from UPNIH have worked on the testing kit for COVID-19 soon after the public release of the genome sequence of the virus. GMA News reports that tests using the UP-developed kit—also referred to as the SARS CoV-2 PCR Detection Kit—only cost P1,320, which is significantly less than the P8,500 price point of tests using kits acquired internationally.
The COVID-19 testing kit developed at UP will help with faster detection of COVID-19 cases locally. Currently there are only 2,000 COVID-19 testing kits being used in the country.