Singapore Donating 3,000 Coronavirus Test Kits to the Philippines
Singapore will donate 3,000 coronavirus testing kits and a PCR machine (thermal cycler) to the Philippines to help combat the viral illness, Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said Sunday.
The country’s top diplomat thanked the Singapore government as he made the announcement on Twitter.
Singapore is DONATING 3,000 COVID test kits and one PCR machine. THANK YOU SO MUCH. Memoing the President about this right now. I'm a bit tired.— Teddy Locsin Jr. (@teddyboylocsin) March 22, 2020
“Singapore is donating 3,000 Covid test kits and one PCR machine. Thank you so much,” he said, adding that he was about to send a memo to the President, as quoted by Inquirer.
The Philippine government has sought to boost its supply of test kits, masks and protective equipment amid increasing cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019.
According to ABS-CBN, China's donation of 100,000 COVID-19 test kits, 100,000 surgical masks, 10,000 N95 masks and 10,000 sets of personal protective equipment arrived in Manila early Saturday.
On Saturday, March 21, the Department of Health (DOH) said that the country's accredited testing centers so far have an average testing capacity of up to 1,000 per day, with the bulk coming from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM). For now, the tests will be limited to severe and vulnerable cases, the DOH said.
The World Health Organization earlier urged countries to test "every suspected case" of coronavirus, as this was the "backbone" of response to the pandemic. This was seen in South Korea, which has managed to control the spread of the disease through massive testing efforts.
The Philippine Food and Drug Administration has approved 4 coronavirus test kits for commercial use.
Meanwhile, the test kits developed by the University of the Philippines National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH) would take some 2 or 3 weeks to be validated.
As of Sunday, Health authorities said the Philippines has 380 cases, with 25 deaths from and 15 recoveries COVID-19