Start mass testing for COVID-19 now, gov’t urged
MANILA, Philippines — The planned mass testing of suspected carriers of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) must start immediately, as doing it on April 14 as proposed may already be too late, the Makabayan party list bloc said on Saturday.
The militant lawmakers said delaying mass testing by almost two weeks will further put the Philippines “woefully” far behind other countries with comparable technical and resource challenges, and cause “deadly consequences” for its people.
They questioned why mass testing was announced to start on such date, a day before the expected end of the enhanced community quarantine in the entire Luzon.
“Why the delay of almost two weeks? (Carlito) Galvez (Jr.) and the Inter-agency Task Force on COVID-19 are acting like they have the luxury of time; our people don’t,” they said in a statement.
According to the group, President Duterte cannot use any excuse to justify the “foot dragging” of government officials in battling the pandemic, with emergency powers granted to him by Congress, including the control of more than P275 billion.
“The only way to contain the coronavirus pandemic is through the urgent implementation of the people’s demand for immediate mass testing of all PUIs (persons under investiogation), PUMs (persons under monitoring), frontline health workers, and in communities with local outbreaks,” they added.
Government must also quickly establish quarantine centers at the barangay level for effective isolation of possible carriers.
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