• Melo Acuna

COVID-19 cases, deaths rise

COVID-19 positive cases rise to 140; deaths to 11

MANILA – The Department of Health reported 29 new COVID-19 cases in the country as deaths reached 11 as of midday today.

The three additional casualties today include an 86-year-old American male from Marikina City who traveled to the United States of America and Korea. He expired at 3:25 A.M., Saturday, due to multiple organ failure, septic shock, acute respiratory distress syndrome, community-acquired pneumonia-high-risk COVID-19, acute kidney injury, chronic kidney disease, hypertension type II, diabetes mellitus and chronic artery disease.

A 40-year-old Filipino male from Pasig City with no history of foreign travel nor history of exposure 14 days before the symptoms manifested, expired at 1:45 A.M. today and acute respiratory distress syndrome, CAP, High-risk, COVID-19.

The third fatality’s a 64-year-old Filipino from Negros Oriental who had a history of travel to Greenhills. He expired at 11:09 A.M. today and had a known case of renal disease and had a renal transplant in 2010.

Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration said there are no registered COVID-19 diagnostic test kits available to the public simply because no company has complied with the minimum set of requirements.

In a statement released today, the FDA said they only require a License To Operate (LTO) as distributor and a Certificate of Product Registration (CPR) from a reliable and mature national regulatory agency or NRA such as FDA counterparts in the United States, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Europe among others or a Certificate of Prequalification or Emergency Use Listing from the World Health Organization (WHO).

“As of today, no company has submitted these,” the FDA statement added.

“We cannot vouch for its safety and efficacy by merely accepting the statement claims of a testing kit without the proper regulatory certification from the country of origin and a reliable N.R.A. These kits may give false positive and negative results which may affect the response to this pandemic. They may also be counterfeit products that will not test for the novel corona virus at all,” FDA Director-General Eric Domingo said.

He said the only COVID-19 diagnostic test kits used these days are the PCR-based lab kits at the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM) donated by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the University of the Philippines National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-developed test kit scheduled for field testing tomorrow, Monday, March 16,2020. (Melo M. Acuña)



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