Gov’t must ramp up testing, contact tracing to check COVID-19 surge – Robredo
MANILA, Philippines — The government must significantly increase the number of COVID-19 tests while doing aggressive contact tracing to cut off possible transmissions amid the ongoing surge, Vice President Leni Robredo said on Monday.
According to Robredo, the country is doing just around 30,000 to 40,000 tests per day — the same number of tests back when the country was not yet seeing a high infection rate.
Contract tracing should be done within 24 hours to ensure that COVID-19 positive patients can no longer infect others, she added.
“With the number of cases so much higher now, it would be best to dramatically increase number of tests per day and do massive testing in areas where transmission is high,” Robredo said a Facebook post.
“Contact tracing within 24 hours is a must so that isolation can immediately be done. If we don’t do this, the number of cases will continue to rise and baka hindi kayanin ng health care system natin,” she added.
￼8,019 cases reported today. This is an all-time high. Reported positivity rate today is 14.9%, if you will base it on…
Metro Manila and four nearby provinces are currently part of a bubble created to check the rise in COVID-19 cases.
On Monday, the Department of Health recorded 8,019 new coronavirus infections — the highest single-day increase recorded and the fourth straight day with over 7,000 new cases
Robredo said her office had been receiving pleas for assistance as several COVID-19 patients needed to be admitted to hospitals but were denied because of lack of facilities.
She also pleaded to the public to stay at home if they could to help hospitals and frontliners struggling with the COVID-19 surge.
Earlier, reports came in that several hospitals within the National Capital Region (NCR) had reached full capacity for COVID-19 cases.
“The entire weekend until today, we have been receiving SOS calls and messages of people who need hospitalization but could not be accommodated anymore,” Robredo shared.
“It’s so hard to find hospitals with vacant slots for COVID-19 patients. That’s why if you do not need to go out, just stay at home, it would be a big help,” she added in Filipino.
Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal are all placed under a GCQ due to the rising cases. While the government has insisted that it is not a lockdown, some protocols were borrowed from the more stringent lockdown measures.
This is not the first time that the government was called out for its low testing capability. Last March 16, activist group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan asked the Duterte administration about the promise to conduct 50,000 tests per day, noting that there were instances where the country did not even pass the 40,000 mark in the number of cases.
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