Government targets 78 COVID-19 testing labs by end of May
MANILA, Philippines — The government is eyeing to accredit 58 more laboratories capable of detecting the novel coronavirus for a total of 78 COVID-19 testing centers by the end of May.
Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) president Vince Dizon, whom President Rodrigo Duterte named as deputy chief implementer for the country’s COVID-19 response, announced this on Tuesday as the government looks to further ramp up its coronavirus testing.
According to Dizon, the Philippines so far has 20 laboratories nationwide which are accredited by the Department of Health (DOH) to conduct COVID-19 tests. Meanwhile, 58 more are already in the advanced stages of accreditation.
“Mags-scale na rin po tayo ng iba’t-ibang laboratoryo sa buong bansa including Visayas and Mindanao,” Dizon said in an online press briefing in Malacañang.
He explained that the 78 testing centers would enable the country to conduct a total of 30,000 daily tests which is at par with other countries such as New Zealand, Vietnam, Germany, and South Korea that have conducted swift and broad testing to detect, isolate, and treat coronavirus cases.
The government failed to reach its target to conduct 8,000 tests per day by April 30. So far, the country is capable of conducting 5,000 tests daily.
To date, the Philippines has 9,485 COVID-19 cases, including 1,315 recoveries and 623 deaths.
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