Duterte wants gov’t health facilities to give free COVID-19 tests | Inquirer News
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Duterte wants gov’t health facilities to give free COVID-19 tests

By: - Reporter / @KAguilarINQ
/ 04:26 AM December 08, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — How much would it cost the government to provide Filipinos free COVID-19 tests?

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President Rodrigo Duterte ordered Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Monday, during his weekly pre-recorded address, to find out the answer to that question.

“You know, what’s really important, and I realized now, it’s the testing, the swabbing, the test. It’s expensive,” Duterte toldl Duque, speaking partly in Filipino. “So maybe if you can give me a figure, see if there’s money, and we will just buy [testing kits]. And in all government hospitals or in health centers, we will give [tests] free of charge.”

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Duterte also asked Duque to aim for the second quarter of 2021 for the roll-out of the government’s free COVID-19 testing.

Last month, Duterte ordered the Department of Health and the Department of Trade and Industry to place a price cap on COVID-19 tests.

Under the two agencies’ joint order, private laboratories can only charge patients from P4,500 to P5,000, while the limit for public laboratories is at P3,800.

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TAGS: COVID-19, COVID-19 test, Francisco Duque III, free covid-19 testing, price cap, Rodrigo Duterte
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