DOH discourages antigen tests before COC filing

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 20) — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) should not require 2022 aspirants to take a COVID-19 antigen test before filing their certificates of candidacy, a Health official said on Monday.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said rapid antigen tests should be used appropriately.

"We do not recommend the rapid antigen test kits to be used as a screening test for people who will vote or people who's going to join events," she said when asked about the filing of COCs on Oct. 1 to 8.

She added, "Kailangan appropriate ang use para walang question to the results that will come out if ever we use it."

[Translation: It must be used appropriately so there is no question regarding the results.]

The poll body earlier announced that those running for president, vice president, senator, party-list representative, and their companions must present a negative COVID-19 test result before entering the Sofitel Tent in Pasay City, the venue to file COCs. Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said antigen tests will be offered on site.

The DOH previously said antigen tests should only be used to test those with flu-like symptoms, those who have been exposed to a COVID-19 patient, or living in areas with an outbreak.