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Mayor of Dagupan City donates 8-month salary for COVID-19 test kits

Mayor Marc Brian Lim of Dagupan City said on Wednesday that he donated 8 months worth of his salary to buy 1,000 units of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) rapid anti-body test kits (RATKs).

"The test kits, which have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, are sold commercially at about P1,000 each, costing Mayor Lim about P1 million, the equivalent of his salary for eight months," Mayor Brian Lim said in a statement.

It explains that Mayor Lim decided to use his personal money to buy the test kits as the Department of Health’s Circular No. 2020-0160 mandates that no public funds should be used to buy the rapid test kits.

This is because the DOH states that the RATK can only detect the presence of antibodies produced by an individual to fight the virus and can only be used as an “adjunct tool” after a person under investigation (PUI) has completed his or her 14-day quarantine, asymptomatic and discharged from a health facility.

Dagupan City currently has 42 COVID-19 PUIs. Four are being treated in various hospitals while 11 have already been discharged. Fifteen have completed their 14-day home quarantine while nine are still in the midst of it. The city astrodome has been prepared as a halfway house for PUIs should the need arise.

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