CNN Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Saturday said it will begin including cases diagnosed with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) through antigen tests in its daily tally beginning next week.
“Unti-unti na po nating ipapasok itong mga positive results ng antigen test after we validate ito pong mga na-i-re-report sa atin,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a Laging Handa briefing.
“So simula po next week unti-unti na ho nating ipapasok iyan at magkakaroon naman po tayo ng qualifier kung ilan ang RT-PCR, ilan naman po ang antigen test doon po sa mga kasong ire-report sa ating public,” she added.
Vergeire also said the department is working with other agencies to ensure all antigen test results are submitted to the government.
“Kami po ay nakipagcoordinate na with the MMDA (Metropolitan Manila Development Authority) and the National Task Force para matulungan po tayo na ma-mobilize natin pati ang regional offices ng DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government) at saka DOH so we can have registration process for clinics o local governments na gumagamit (ng antigen test),” she said.
“May specific na po tayo na reporting system for that na ibabahagi sa kanila so we can make this official at maging mandato po ng bawat gumagamit ng antigen na ma-i-report po ito sa ating gobyerno,” she added.
Vergeire reiterated her appeal to use the antigen test correctly to ensure the accuracy of results.
She renewed her call after a DOH validation found most of the antigen test results reported to the department so far are invalid.
“Based on our recent analysis, with almost 6,000 plus (results) submitted to us, when we validated these – only about 300 plus (were used correctly),” she said.
The DOH previously said antigen tests should only be used to test people with flu-like symptoms, and those who have been exposed to a COVID-19 patient or living in areas with an outbreak.