By Teddy Cambosa

The Department of Health (DOH) and the Regional Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM) in the Philippines has clarified their stance that there were no expired RT-PCR tests distributed to the city of Baguio in Northern Luzon.

A response was made after allegations were raised by Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong that around 50,000 test kits being sent over by RITM were not usable and expired in nature. 

In response, DOH and RITM stated that while test kits relatively have 6 month up front of shelf life, both institutions share the same statement that test kits are always utilized immediately.

“Test kits are fast-moving stock that have to be utilized immediately, considering that shipment and other laboratory processes already take up part of their already short shelf life. Additionally, machine compatibility, technical issues, low testing referral count, and availability of supplies also contribute to low consumption of the COVID-19 test kits which in turn increase likelihood of expiry before use,” the statement read.

RITM has also launched recently its COVID-19 Laboratory Network Project Management Unit (PMU) was created, and a new Information Management System. This then ensures uninterrupted supply of COVID-19 test kits.

Teddy Cambosa is a graduating BS Biology student and a former campus journalist at Batangas State University. He is also currently writing for MARKETECH APAC, a small APAC-focused marketing news site.

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