PH eyes COVID-19 tests for 2M Filipinos, ramped up testing in ‘epicenters’
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is eyeing to have around two million Filipinos tested for the coronavirus with a target goal of ramping up the country’s testing capacity to 50,000 tests per day by June.
Deputy chief implementor of the National Task Force against COVID-19 (NTF) Vince Dizon disclosed this to senators during Tuesday’s committee of the whole hearing on updates on the government’s response to the health crisis.
“The goal should be able to build up capacity to test up to two percent of the population so we are looking into 2 million in total,” he said, noting that more tests at least 10 to 12 percent “in the epicenters like the National Capital Region.”
“What we need to do and our two-month goal from today is to be able to test 50,000 per day, the capacity to test 50,000 per day in two months,” he added.
The government is currently targeting to have the detection capacity to 30,000 COVID-19 tests per day by the end of May.
According to Dizon, the Philippines has so far tested 0.2 percent of the country’s population.
“So we have already tested 240,000 people out of our 110 million population,” he said.
In comparison to other countries, Dizon noted that the number of tests conducted by the Philippines is “roughly the same” as Vietnam and “higher” than India and Indonesia but “much lower” than that of South Korea’s.
Figures presented by Dizon before the Senate showed that South Korea has so far tested around 1.5 percent of its 50 million population with 20,000 tests per day.
Meanwhile, Vietnam has tested 0.27 percent of its population, 0.16 percent in India and 0.05 percent in Indonesia.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Philippine health officials have so far confirmed nearly 13,000 COVID-19 cases in the country.
Of the number, 2,843 have so far recovered while 837 have died from the disease.
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