DOH: Testing asymptomatic people not rational, cost-effective
MANILA, Philippines — Testing asymptomatic people who do not have exposure to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients is not cost-effective and rational as 85 percent of coronavirus transmission came from symptomatic patients, the Department of Health (DOH) said Wednesday.
“Pinaglalaban natin na huwag nating itest ‘yung mga asymptomatic dahil it may give us false sense of security. It might give us false results as well,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an online press briefing.
“Eighty-five percent of those who transmitted the disease are symptomatic individuals. So ito po ang sinasabi natin, very high po ang probability that you can transmit the disease if you have symptoms,” she added.
The Health official, however, noted that asymptomatic patients with exposure to coronavirus carriers should be subjected to testing.
Vergeire said this as the government came under fire for not conducting mass testing.
Earlier, presidential spokesman Harry Roque admitted that the government has no program for mass testing yet due to its limited resources and that it would rely on the assistance of the private sector to boost the country’s testing capacity.
Roque, however, said that no country in the world can conduct mass testing, which according to him, is the deliberate testing on all its citizens.
Although he noted that the Philippines is implementing expanded targeted testing.
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