DOH targets 30K COVID-19 tests daily by end-May
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) said the country will be able to conduct 30,000 tests per day by the end of the month amid the efforts to increase testing capacity for COVID-19.
With the help of the Public-Private Task Force T3, the licensing of COVID-19 testing centers and the continuous acquisition of test kits, the country will be able to conduct this number of tests per day by May 30, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a virtual briefing on Friday.
“Ang ating testing capacity ay kritikal sapagkat sa maagang pagde-detect at pag-isolate ng kaso ay masisiguro natin na kakaunti ang mahahawa at hindi kakalat pa lalo ang sakit na ito (Our testing capacity is critical because, with the early detection and isolation of a COVID-19 case, we will be able to ensure the minimal spread of the disease),” Vergeire noted.
“Bagamat hindi pa tayo pumapalo sa 8,000 tests per day, ikinagagalak po naming ibalita ang pagsisimula ng full-scale operation ng laboratoryo ng Philippine Red Cross (Even though we have yet to reach the testing capacity of 8,000 per day, we are happy to announce that the laboratory of the Philippine Red Cross is about to start its full-scale operation),” she added.
Vergeire added that with the JB Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital’s opening on May 10, they will be able to add 3,000 tests per day. The DOH is continuously working with other laboratories for the certification and licensing process to be able to conduct testing.
“Ito, kasama ng ating pakikipagtulungan sa private sector, at sa pamumuno ng binuong public-private task force, ang Task Force TFT3, makakapagdagdag po pa tayo ng ating kapasidad at makakapagsagawa ng 30,000 tests kada araw sa katapusan ng May 30,” the undersecretary said.
(This, along with our coordination with the private sector, with the Public-Private Task Force at the helm, we will be able to increase our testing capacity to 30,000 tests per day by the end of May 30.)
Vergeire also announced that the Marikina Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory has passed stage 4 proficiency testing and is now licensed to do testing in their laboratories.
The government also recently acquired 4,167 Sansure test kits, which can be used to conduct 100,000 tests, according to Vergeire. The country is set to receive 100,000 more test kits in the coming weeks.
She noted, however, that only a portion of these test kits can be used for now as the country still lacks the necessary machines and equipment to be able to conduct the tests. Vergeire said the DOH will report in the coming days the status of the machines that the government is set to acquire and set up in laboratories across the country.
There are currently 8,772 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country after the DOH recorded 284 more on Friday. Recoveries meanwhile stand at 1,084 while the death toll is at 579.
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