COVID-19 test kits donated by Chinese gov’t good, meet WHO standards: Philippine health chief

MANILA The two batches of COVID-19 test kits donated by the Chinese government to the Philippines “are very good and up to the standards as those which were donated by (the) WHO,” the Philippine health chief said Sunday.

Francisco Duque, secretary of health of the Philippines, said in a message to Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian that there is nothing wrong with the two batches of 2,000 BGI-made PCR-type test kits and 100,000 Sansure-made PCR-type test kits donated by the Chinese government.

“Your Test Kits BGI and SANSURE BIOTECHNOLOGY are very good and up to the standards as those which were donated by (the) WHO and approved by our RITM (Research Institute for Tropical Medicine),” Duque said in the message, expressing gratitude and appreciation to the Chinese government for its help.

China donated 2,000 and 100,000 COVID-19 test kits to the Philippines in two batches, on March 16 and March 21 respectively, to help the country curb the spread of COVID-19.

On Saturday, an official from the health department of the Philippines said that some test kits received from China were only 40 percent accurate.

The health department later said in an announcement on Sunday that the test kits donated by the Chinese government are on par with those provided by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The health body also clarified that the test kits mentioned by the health official referred to another brand of test kits donated by a private foundation. It apologized for the confusion the previous announcement has caused.

The Philippines has so far reported 1,075 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with 68 recorded deaths and 35 recovered patients.

“Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, China has continually provided assistance as needed to support the Philippines’ battle against the epidemic. At this moment of crisis, we should fight in solidarity to overcome the epidemic at the earliest date,” said the Chinese embassy.

Source: China – ASEAN Business Council