Inquirer.net : DOH to ‘gradually’ reflect antigen test results in COVID-19 tally

News & Interviews
25 September 2021

By Cathrine Gonzales | Inquirer.net

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) will gradually reflect positive results from rapid antigen tests in the country’s daily tally of COVID-19 cases starting next week.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the DOH is just validating whether the positive results from antigen tests that were reported to the department were based on proper use of such tests.

“Unti-unti na po nating ipapasok itong mga positive result ng antigen test after we validate itong mga nairerereport sa atin. So simula next week, unti-unti na nating ipapasok ‘yan at magkakaroon naman tayo ng qualifier kung ilang ang RT-PCR, ilan ang antigen test doon sa mga kasong irereport natin sa public,” she said at the Laging Handa public briefing when asked when the positive antigen test results will be reflected in the daily COVID-19 tally.

(We will gradually include the positive result of antigen tests after we validate the reports we have received. Starting next week, we will gradually include that in the tally. We will have a qualifier on how many results were from RT-PCR and antigen tests on the reports we will provide to the public.)

The DOH has earlier observed a lower number of COVID-19 tests being conducted in the country. Vergeire said this may be due to improper use of rapid antigen tests that are not being reported to the DOH.

She noted that out of the almost 6,000 positive test results from antigen tests that were reported to the agency, only around 300 tests were conducted based on its proper use.

“People are using it for screening, borders, screening for work, screening for certain activities, and that is not the right or proper use of antigen at baka magkaroon tayo ng (and we may get) inaccurate results,” said Vergeire.

Vergeire said the reporting of antigen test results should not be voluntary.

“It should be na imamandato po natin ang local governments na magreport sa atin at from local governments’ end, dapat makuha nila lahat ng gumagamit at makapagreport sa kanila,” she said.

(It should be a requirement for local governments to report to us the rapid antigen test results. They should be able to gather all reports on its use.)

NATION

DOH to ‘gradually’ reflect antigen test results in COVID-19 tally
By: Cathrine Gonzales - Reporter / @cgonzalesINQINQUIRER.net / 01:56 PM September 25, 2021
antigen testing
A medical frontliner from the Swab Cab initiative of the Office of Vice President Leni Robredo returned to Imus, Cavite offering free antigen testing in identified areas to help in local government efforts against COVID-19. Photo by Jay Ganzon / OVP

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) will gradually reflect positive results from rapid antigen tests in the country’s daily tally of COVID-19 cases starting next week.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the DOH is just validating whether the positive results from antigen tests that were reported to the department were based on proper use of such tests.

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“Unti-unti na po nating ipapasok itong mga positive result ng antigen test after we validate itong mga nairerereport sa atin. So simula next week, unti-unti na nating ipapasok ‘yan at magkakaroon naman tayo ng qualifier kung ilang ang RT-PCR, ilan ang antigen test doon sa mga kasong irereport natin sa public,” she said at the Laging Handa public briefing when asked when the positive antigen test results will be reflected in the daily COVID-19 tally.

(We will gradually include the positive result of antigen tests after we validate the reports we have received. Starting next week, we will gradually include that in the tally. We will have a qualifier on how many results were from RT-PCR and antigen tests on the reports we will provide to the public.)

The DOH has earlier observed a lower number of COVID-19 tests being conducted in the country. Vergeire said this may be due to improper use of rapid antigen tests that are not being reported to the DOH.

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She noted that out of the almost 6,000 positive test results from antigen tests that were reported to the agency, only around 300 tests were conducted based on its proper use.

“People are using it for screening, borders, screening for work, screening for certain activities, and that is not the right or proper use of antigen at baka magkaroon tayo ng (and we may get) inaccurate results,” said Vergeire.

Vergeire said the reporting of antigen test results should not be voluntary.

“It should be na imamandato po natin ang local governments na magreport sa atin at from local governments’ end, dapat makuha nila lahat ng gumagamit at makapagreport sa kanila,” she said.

(It should be a requirement for local governments to report to us the rapid antigen test results. They should be able to gather all reports on its use.)

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She added that the DOH is coordinating with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and the National Task Force against COVID-19 for the accurate reporting of antigen test results.

“May specific na tayo na reporting system for that na ibabahagi sa kanila (local government units) so we can make this official at maging mandato ng bawat gumagamit ng antigen na maireport ito sa ating gobyerno,” said Vergeire.

(We have a specific reporting system for that which we will share to LGUs so we can make this official and a mandate that all who use antigen tests will report results to the government.)