DOH sees no need for COVID-19 mass testing yet
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) sees no need yet to conduct mass testing for the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
However, such a measure is already being planned and is prepared for by the government should the need arises, Health Secretary Undersecretary Rosette Vergeire has assured on Friday.
“Sa ngayon po, hindi pa naman nakikitang kailangan nating gawin itong mass testing na ito,” Vergeire said in a press conference
(We don’t see the need to conduct a mass testing for now.)
“Pero nasa taalaan, nasa mapa, nasa radar, na kung sakaling dumating ‘yung panahon, if we have enough resources, and the government can do it, and it is already imperative for the government to do it, gagawin po natin ‘yan kung saka sakali,” she added.
(But it is already in our plans that if the time comes that we need to conduct one and if we have enough resources and the government can do it, we will do it.)
Vergeire admitted that the government is currently having some difficulties with its testing and laboratory capacities with the deluge of patients that need to be tested.
“We are being challenged right now with our testing capacity and laboratory capacity. ‘Yung mga nababalita po na medyo may delay, totoo po ‘yun,” she said. (Regarding the report saying about the delay, that is entirely true.)
However, she assured that the government is already taking all measures to spread and extend the capacities of laboratories in the country.
So far, 1170 COVID-19 tests have been administered in the country. To date, 217 individuals have tested positive for the virus, of which 17 people have died and eight have been able to recover.
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