President Rodrigo Duterte ordered Wednesday a price cap on COVID-19 testing as the country continues to battle the pandemic that has claimed over 7,000 lives in the Philippines.
Duterte, through an executive order, tasked the Department of Health and Department of Trade and Industry to implement a price range for COVID-19 testing including the test kits used.
"The DOH and the DTI shall ensure that the price range for COVID-19 testing and test kits is just, equitable, and sensitive to all stakeholders," the President said.
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Adherence to the price cap will serve as a requirement for accreditation of hospitals and medical facilities as COVID-19 testing centers. Failure to comply will serve as a basis for possible revocation of license or accreditation as a COVID-19 testing center, Duterte said.
The Philippines uses different types of tests to screen people for the virus--RT-PCR tests, antigen tests, and rapid antibody tests.
RT-PCR, however, is considered the “gold standard” in COVID-19 detection and uses swab samples taken from the nose or mouth to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2.