Robredo: PH not testing enough, many ‘unaware’ they are virus carriers
MANILA, Philippines — There are many individuals roaming outdoors who are unaware that they are already COVID-19 positive because the country is not testing enough, Vice President Leni Robredo said Monday.
Robredo made the remark in reaction to the 22,366 new COVID-19 cases in the country—the highest single day record for the Philippines since the start of the pandemic.
“Staggering numbers today — 22,366 new cases!! With a positivity rate of 27.5% and 65,237 tests conducted, we can safely presume that the real number of new cases is so much more than these,” Robredo said in a statement.
“Kahit para na tayong sirang plaka, uulitin pa din natin — we are simply not testing enough!!! Gustong sabihin, ang daming gumagala na COVID positives na hindi nga nila alam na infected na pala sila. Pag hindi nila alam, lalong dadami lang ang mahahawaan pa nila,” she added.
(Even though we sound like a broken record, we would still reiterate–we are simply not testing enough!!! Wanted to say, a lot of people roaming around not knowing they are already COVID positive, they are already infected. If they do not know, a lot more will get infected.)
Robredo said the national government has a “weak” contact tracing mechanism, thus, making it difficult to know who should be tested.
“Hindi natin ma identify index cases kaya hindi din natin mahinto ‘yung transmission chains,” Robredo said.
(We can’t identify the index cases that is why we can’t stop the transmission chains.)
Robredo lamented the struggle of getting a hospital bed for COVID-19 cases, saying that the waitlist at the One Hospital Command Center is already long.
“Ang instructions, kung emergency na, dumirecho na sa [emergency room] ng pinakamalapit na ospital. Ang problema, pati ER ng mga ospital, napakahaba na ng linya,” Robredo said.
(The instruction is, if it is emergency, go directly to the emergency room of the nearest hospital. The problem is, even the ER of the hospitals has long queue.)
Robredo cited an experience of a COVID-19 patient who had an oxygen level of below 70 and had to be rejected by various hospitals due to lack of capacity.
The patient was only accommodated by a hospital at 8 a.m. on Monday, the Vice President said.
“Buti umabot. Pero ilan pa ba ang tulad nila? Kung hindi natin aayusin trabaho natin, ilang buhay pa yung mawawala?” Robredo said.
(Fortunately the patient got in. But how many could be like that person? If we can’t do better with our job, how many lives will be lost?)
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