China donates 2,000 rapid test kits for COVID-19 to the Philippines

With the number of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the country on the rise, the Chinese Embassy of the Philippines and its partner organizations have provided the Philippine government with rapid test kits.

2,000 rapid test kits were donated to the Philippines by the China Mammoth Foundation in light of the country’s fight against the threat of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The Chinese Embassy of the Philippines reported that they have donated the first batch of test kits to help the Philippines improve its detection of the said virus.

In their statement, the Chinese Embassy said that their country is willing to lend a helping hand to the Philippines and extended their sympathies to those families who have lost loved ones. They also reiterated that they are cooperating with their counterparts in the country in providing advanced medical expertise regarding the epidemic. 

The Chinese Embassy also promised that a second batch of test kits will arrive in the following days to help minimize the number of deaths from the disease.

The test kits were developed by the China BGI Group, a leading scientific researcher in human genetics and bioinformatics. The said equipment has the capability to show results after only three hours. The kits have been extensively used in China and proven accurate and effective in identifying the disease. A total of 50 countries have used the respective test kits, including Japan, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates.

In terms of locally-produced test kits, fifteen scientists at the University of the Philippines have developed a local version named GenAmplify™ last March 11, which will be in trial for selected hospitals within the coming days.

Due to the increasing number of persons under investigation (PUI) in the country, President Rodrigo Duterte has put the entire Metro Manila under an Enhanced Community Quarantine which aims to limit the movement of people to control the spread of the virus. This has included a curfew between 8:00 PM to 5:00 PM and a checkpoint-based entry system on the region’s boundaries.

The first incident of COVID-19 in the country was documented last January 30, 2020, in which a 38-year old Chinese woman who traveled from Wuhan, China and Hong Kong tested positive with the virus. Her husband, who also traveled the same route, became the first casualty of the COVID-19 outside mainland China last February 1, 2020 in San Lazaro Hospital, Manila.




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