Late last evening, April 24, 2020, 700 units of COVID-19 test kits were delivered to the country as donated by the government of South Korea.
Worth an estimated $500,000 or approximately (PHP 25.38 million), the volume of Q-Sens 2019-nCoV Detection Kits received by the Department of Foreign Affairs may enable the country to conduct 35,000 more tests.
According to a statement by the DFA, the test kits were symbolically turned over to Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr., Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III, and National Task Force on COVID-19 Spokesperson General Restituto Padilla this morning. They were then delivered immediately to the Department of Health afterwards.
“The test kits are compatible with local COVID-19 testing systems and were immediately delivered to the DOH,” explained the DFA in a tweet.
As of writing, the confirmed cases of COVID-19 positive patients in the country has reached 6008, with 494 reported deaths, and 792 recoveries.
There are currently 18 accredited COVID-19 testing facilities in the country after the DOH licensed the Philippine Genome Center in the University of the Philippines yesterday, April 24, 2020. With this, the Philippines currently has a daily testing capacity of 4500.
As mentioned in an article by CNN Philippines, the DOH hopes to ramp up testing to 8000 a day by May 30 with the support of Task Force T3 (Test, Trace, and Treat), a public-private initiative launched by the department to “expand RT-PCR testing for COVID-19 in the country."