Gov’t eyes testing of up to 3.3 million Filipinos for COVID-19 by Sept.
MANILA, Philippines — The government is eyeing to test up to 3.3 million people nationwide for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) by September, President Rodrigo Duterte said in his budget message to Congress.
According to Duterte, the government wants to test 2 to 3 percent of the country’s 110 million total population.
“Sustaining the positive impact of this pandemic response, through the Universal Health Care Act, the government aims to test 2-3 percent of the population or 2.2 million to 3.3 million individuals by September this year,” the President said in his budget message to Congress.
“We need to be relentless in our pursuit of putting an end to the pandemic in the country so that we resume the momentum in strengthening our economy and building a high-trust society for Filipinos,” he added.
Data from the Department of Health (DOH) showed that the country has so far tested 2,285,600 persons as of August 26. Of the tested individuals, 10.6 percent have turned out positive for presence of the coronavirus.
To date, there are 205,581 confirmed COVID-19 cases nationwide, including 133,990 recoveries and 3,234 deaths.
Duterte proposed a P 71.4-billion budget for the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) for 2021 to subsidize health insurance premiums of 13.22 million poor families and 7.3 million senior citizens under the National Health Insurance Program.
Meanwhile, he also authorized specialized hospitals under the DOH to utilize at least 35% of their income to purchase and upgrade their hospital equipment to ensure the continued availability of hospital equipment and the amid the pandemic.
“In addition, income sourced from PhilHealth reimbursements are to be used exclusively by specialized hospitals for the improvement of their facilities and the replenishment of drugs, medicines, and vaccines,” Duterte added.
PhilHealth officials are currently facing investigations over claims of systematic corruption within the state health insurance firm.
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