Chinese embassy says RITM assessed Chinese-donated test kits to be at par with WHO-provided kits

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“The test kits mentioned by the DOH official on 28 March 2020 during the press briefing were neither tested by RITM (Research Institute for Tropical Medicine) which did not receive any kit sample for lab validation nor donated by the Chinese government,” the Chinese Embassy in Manila said in a statement.

This is after DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire was quoted saying “sa mga naunang pinadala samin na test kits from China, na nakapagpakita ng 40 percent accuracy, hindi po namin ito ginamit dahil nakita nga po na mababa po ang accuracy natin dito. Kaya ito na lang po ay atin itinago.”

The Chinese embassy said it immediately checked with the DOH.

“According to the clarification of the DOH, the two batches of 2,000 BGI PCR-type test kits and 100,000 Sansure PCR-type test kits donated by the Chinese government have been assessed by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) to be at par with World Health Organization-provided kits, and those test kits are of high quality and standards and have no accuracy problems, which are being used in Philippine test laboratories and have helped accelerate the testing process,” the Chinese embassy said.

“Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, China has continually provided assistance as needed to support the Philippines’ battle against the epidemic. At this moment of crisis, we should fight in solidarity to overcome the epidemic at the earliest date. The Chinese Embassy firmly rejects any irresponsible remarks and any attempts to undermine our cooperation in this regard,” it noted.