Dizon rejects mass testing, gov’t to continue ‘risk-based, targeted’ procedure
MANILA, Philippines — The government will continue to carry out its “risk-based” and “targeted” COVID-19 testing as experts do not recommend subjecting to COVID-19 tests a country’s entire population, testing czar Vince Dizon said Tuesday as he rejected calls for mass testing amid the surge in new COVID-19 cases.
“Lahat po ng eksperto sa Pilipinas at sa buong mundo ay hindi po nirerekomenda ang mass testing ng lahat ng buong populasyon ng isang bansa. Ang kailangan po natin ay risk-based at targeted testing,” Dizon said in an online Palace briefing.
(All experts in the Philippines and other parts of the world do not recommend mass testing of a country’s entire population. What we need is to conduct risk-based and targeted testing.)
“Hindi pupuwede na ang tao mismo ang magdi-determine kung siya ay dapat magpa-test o hindi dahil kailangan ito ay either irirekomenda ng isang doktor, kung ikaw ay may sintomas or papasok ka sa guidelines na sinet ng eksperto,” he added.
(The public cannot be the one to determine if they want to be tested or not because this must be either recommended by a doctor, you must have symptoms and you are qualified under the guidelines set by experts.)
Dizon said the solution to suppress the country’s COVID-19 numbers remains to be the strict adherence to minimum health standards like wearing masks, frequent hand washing and observing physical distancing.
According to the Department of Health’s guidelines on expanded COVID-19 testing, those eligible for testing are persons with symptoms, persons with close contact to a COVID-19 positive patient, and persons with relevant history of travel in places with high COVID-19 cases.
Several officials have called on the national government to conduct mass testing to address the steep rise in COVID-19 cases in the country.
One suggestion from Senator Grace Poe is to test residents living in areas under localized lockdowns as a “preemptive strike to lessen the risk of exposing their household, immediate community and workplace to infection.”
Meanwhile, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said extending the enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and nearby provinces will only be pointless without ramping up medical solutions like conducting mass testing to the public.
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