Only PUIs, PUMs to be tested in April 14 mass testing, says DOH
MANILA, Philippines — Only suspected coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients who are exhibiting symptoms will undergo the mass testing planned by the government on April 14.
The Department on Health (DOH) made the clarification on Friday after National Task Force (NTF) COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. announced that the government is eyeing to conduct COVID-19 mass testing on April 14, or a day after the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine is expected to be lifted.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire clarified that only those persons under investigation (PUIs) and persons under monitoring (PUMs) of coronavirus infection with symptoms will undergo mass testing,
“Ang mass testing na sinasabi natin ay hindi lahat ng tao sa ating bansa ay mate-test)… Kung sakaling itutuloy nga ito, ‘yung ating mga may sintomas ang uunahin natin na i-test natin,” Vergeire said in a Laging Handa press briefing.
(The mass testing we are talking about does not mean that all people in the country will undergo mass testing. If this will push through, only those with symptoms will be tested.)
Once patients will test positive for COVID-19, they will be brought to community quarantine facilities, she added.
Officials of the Inter-Agency Task Force for Infectious Diseases (IATF) are set to thresh out plans and implementation of the mass testing this Friday, Vergeire said.
At present, the DOH has recorded a total of 6,002 PUIs and 6,321 PUMs in the country.
Vergeire said the current numbers of the health department may not be updated or complete yet as some local government units may still be monitoring several persons but have not transmitted their information to the DOH.
Earlier, Galvez said that the Philippines has nine accredited hospitals conducting coronavirus tests for patients under investigation (PUIs) and monitoring (PUMs).
“We are also determined to fast-track the accreditation of subnational laboratories so we can start the massive testing for PUIs and PUMs. We expect that by April 14, we shall be able to start massive testing,” Galvez said.
As of Thursday afternoon, the DOH has recorded a total of 2,633 COVID-19-positive patients in the country, 107 of which have already died while 51 were able to recover.
Vergeire said the number of COVID-19 cases in the country is expected to further increase as the government has expanded the testing capacity in the country.
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