With cases of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) rising fast — 400 deaths and more than 20,000 infected around the world — people are looking for even more ways to stop its spread. The earlier, the better.
A scientist at the University of the Philippines has developed a test kit to detect the virus, the Manila Bulletin reports. Developed two weeks ago following the release of the genetic sequence of the virus, the kit is to be evaluated by the Department of Health (DOH) next week.
In the meantime, the DOH is warning the public against buying test kits online that claim to detect the presence of the novel coronavirus. Says DOH Undersecretary Eric Domingo, “wala pa talagang WHO na validated kit.”
“We don’t want false results. We want to make sure that the results are accurate. So we are not advising anybody to buy the test kits right now that are being sold or being peddled online.”
Further, Undersecretary Domingo told GMA News that should test kits be validated by the WHO, “Che-check mo muna yung proficiency nila. Che-check mo muna yung biosafety facility nila to make sure that this virus doesn’t get out. Once they’ve proven their capability, the directive of the secretary to RITM was to accredit competent laboratories.”
Meanwhile in the United States, it was announced that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed a diagnostic test kit for the 2019-nCov.
On its website the CDC clarifies, “CDC’s test kit is intended for use by laboratories designated by CDC as qualified, and in the United States, certified under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) to perform high complexity tests. The test kits also will be shipped to qualified international laboratories, such as World Health Organization (WHO) Global Influenza Surveillance Response System (GISRS) laboratories.
“The test will not be available in U.S. hospitals or other primary care settings. The kits will be distributed through the International Reagent Resource (IRR).”
Last week, it was reported that a vaccine for the novel coronavirus is already underway.
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