Palace: IATF OKs expanded testing to include patients without symptoms
MANILA, Philippines — The government is expanding its coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing to include patients who are asymptomatic or showing no symptoms, to utilize the procured 10 million test kits, Malacañang announced Friday.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said this has been approved by the Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) “in principle” with the guidelines soon to be issued by the National Task Force For Coronavirus Disease 2019 (NTF) and the Department of Health (DOH).
“Kasama na po sa mga i-tetest ay hindi lamang ang mga symptomatic at hindi lang yung nagkaroon ng contact sa mayroong COVID-19, kasama na rin po ang mga asymptomatic at posible po mapasama na rin po yung iba pang frontliners gaya ng media,” Roque said in a televised briefing.
(Included in the testing are not only the symptomatic and those with contact to COVID-19 patients but also those who are asymptomatic and possibly other frontliners like the media.)
“Pero syempre po, kung sino po yung mga mapapasama sa expanded testing natin na meron na po tayong 10 million PCR [polymerase chain reaction] testing kits, ito po ay ibabase pa rin sa expanded testing strategy na subject sa guidelines na i-iissue ng National Task Force at DOH,” he added.
(But of course, whoever will be included in our expanded testing now that we have 10 million PCR testing kits will be based on the guidelines to be issued by the National Task Force and DOH.)
Deputy chief implementer of the government’s response against COVID-19 Vince Dizon earlier said the government’s testing capacity is at 50,000 but actual tests being conducted are only at 16,000.
Dizon said non-medical frontliners alongside locally stranded individuals may soon be tested due to the arrival of more COVID-19 testing kits.
The government is eyeing to test 1.5 to 2 percent of the country’s nearly 110 million population.
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