To aid in boosting the Philippines’ drive to significantly raise its daily COVID-19 testing capacity, the Philippines formally received 700 units of Q-Sens 2019-nCoV Detection Kits from the Republic of Korea (ROK).
The COVID-19 test kits, which can yield a total of 35,000 tests, are valued at USD 500,000 (approximately PHP 25.38 million) and arrived late in the evening of 24 April 2020.
The kits were symbolically turned over to the Philippines in simple rites at the Department of Foreign Affairs this morning, with Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr., Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III, and National Task Force on COVID-19 Spokesperson General Restituto Padilla receiving the donation from Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Han Dong-man.
Also present at the turnover were Undersecretary for Civilian Security and Consular Concerns Brigido J. Dulay, Assistant Secretary for Asia and Pacific Affairs Meynardo LB. Montealegre, Chief of Presidential Protocol and Presidential Adviser for Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Robert Eric Borje, and First Secretary Seah Park of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea.
The ongoing pandemic has seen the two countries engage in active mutual assistance. Prior to this donation of test kits, ROK has shared its know-how and its model in flattening of its domestic COVID-19 curve by hosting various web seminars for Philippine officials and experts. The Embassy of the Republic of Korea has also actively helped a number of local government units with their respective requirements. The Philippine government, for its part, has provided ready assistance to facilitate ROK’s own repatriation efforts for its stranded nationals. Figures from 2019 show that there were 1.98 million tourists from the ROK who visited the Philippines.
The Q-Sens test kits are compatible with local COVID-19 testing systems. The actual kits were immediately delivered to the DOH after clearing entry formalities.
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