OPAV is calling to the public not to take advantage of the COVID-19 situation.

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The Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV) is calling to the public not to take advantage of the situation and stop selling fake and unapproved COVID-19 test kits.

Their office has been receiving queries and clarification on specific individuals selling unapproved COVID-19 test kits through social media.

One of them was the “Wondfo” SARS-CoV Antibody Test and it is not an approved COVID-19 test kit under the Food and Drug Administration approved list as of March 20, 2020.

“These testing kits are not point-of-care kits but are intended for laboratory use only,” based on the announcement made by the Department of Health.

“I am appealing to the public to never purchase test kits that are tagged as for COVID-19. The government will take care of purchasing the kits since as of today, only the government has COVID-19 testing capacity,” said Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino.

DOH announced that five (5) sub-nationals laboratories are now operating alongside the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine. Among these laboratories includes one situated in Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Visayas.

Currently, an additional laboratory is being set up in Western Visayas Medical Center in Iloilo City. And another one in Eastern Visayas is expected to be up and running soon. “FDA is hard at work in processing COVID-19 related applications during this time.

We ask the public and stakeholders to be analytical of COVID-19 test kits that they may encounter as we have identified some applications which appear to be suspicious and unauthorized. During this period of emergency, safety is still of utmost priority.

We need to be vigilant of the entry of counterfeit products and be watchful of those who try to take advantage of the current situation. FDA remains faithful to its mandate of protecting the public health against unregulated health commodities”, FDA Director-General Eric Domingo assured.

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