Gordon: 13 percent of NCR’s population should be tested for coronavirus
MANILA, Philippines — Ideally, 13 percent of the population of the National Capital Region (NCR) should be tested for the coronavirus, Philippine Red Cross (PRC) chairman Senator Richard Gordon said on Thursday as he cited the advice of the World Health Organization (WHO).
The PRC has been at the forefront of the coronavirus testing, with the organization making up nearly half of all the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) tests being done in the country.
“I spoke to the World Health Organization and I said: ‘My goal is two percent of Manila and 2 percent of the Philippines.’ Do you know what they said? ‘No. It’s 13 percent’,” Gordon said in an interview on ABS-CBN News Channel.
NCR or Metro Manila is considered the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the Philippines.
“So I have to test 13 percent of Manila along with the Department of Health and that means 1.6 million people. If you target the whole country, that’s 14.2 million,” he added.
“I do not believe that we should subsidize everybody, if they’re well off (or earn) a certain income. But the poor people (will be sponsored),” he further said, noting that some private businesses or individuals can sponsor tests for other people who have no capacity to pay.
The Philippines has so far tested over 240,000 individuals for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
The government is aiming to test a total of 2 million Filipinos with a target goal of increasing the country’s testing capacity to 50,000 COVID-19 tests per day by June.
To date, Philippines health officials have confirmed 13,221 COVID-19 cases in the country. Of this number, 2,932 have recovered while 842 have died.
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