Palace: We could’ve ‘done better’ if testing scope boosted right after 1st COVID-19 case
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Thursday admitted that the government should have immediately expanded its testing capacity when the country recorded its first COVID-19 case.
In an online briefing, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque was asked what he thought was the government’s lapses in its COVID-19 response.
“If I were to look back, what we could have done better siguro po, noong nagkaroon tayo ng unang kaso na imported case ng COVID, pinalawak na natin ‘yung ating testing capacity kaagad,” Roque said.
(If I were to look back, what we could have done better maybe was to expand our testing capacity immediately after we recorded the first and imported COVID case.)
It was on January 30 when the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed the country’s first COVID-19 case, a 38-year-old female tourist from China’s Wuhan City, where the first SARS-CoV-2 outbreak was detected in late 2019. SARS-CoV-2 is the new coronavirus that causes respiratory ailment COVID-19.
“Inaamin po natin na medyo naging mabagal ‘yung pagproseso na lumipas po ang dalawang buwan, iisa lang po ang ating testing facility, ang RITM [Research Institute for Tropical Medicine]. Marso pa lang tayo nagsimula magkaroon ng mas marami pang laboratories,” Roque said.
(We admit that we were a bit slow in processing that after two months, we only had one testing facility which is the RITM. It was only in March where we started to have more laboratories.)
“Pero nakita niyo naman po, mabilis din po natin napataas ang numbers ng ating mga laboratories. Meron na po tayong 70 plus ngayon, ilang buwan lang noong Enero,” he added.
(But as you have seen, we were quick to increase the number of our laboratories. We now have more than 70, a few months since January.)
According to DOH’s COVID-19 situationer released Wednesday, the country has 78 licensed COVID-19 laboratories.
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.