Gov’t told: Provide free antigen tests, conduct massive contact tracing amid rising COVID cases
MANILA, Philippines — A party-list group on Tuesday appealed to the national government to begin providing free antigen tests, as well as conducting massive contact tracing amid the spike in COVID-19 infections in the country.
According to Act As One partylist in a statement, this was in order for the national government to boost its COVID-19 response.
“Apart from alert level restrictions and enforcement of minimum health and safety protocols, contact tracing is key to disease ‘control and prevention’,” said Atty. Reynold Munsayac of the Act As One Philippines party-list.
“There’s no reason not to immediately detect carriers if only the government could give free antigen testing to the public,” he pointed out.
Act as One said it made this appeal following projections by the University of the Philippines (UP) Pandemic Response Team that the peak of case transmission could occur by the middle of January until the third week of February, with new daily cases reaching up 20,000 to 40,000.
“We should have learned our lesson not to be complacent amidst this crisis. If we don’t act fast, we could experience what happened to European countries like the United Kingdom and Germany, as well as South Korea which are now experiencing a new wave of COVID-19 infections,” Munsayac warned.
The country is currently experiencing an exponential rise in COVID-19 cases, which the country’s health department attributed to the holiday season as well as the presence of the highly contagious Omicron COVID-19 variant.
The number of Omicron carriers now number 14 people after health authorities detected three local cases of the Omicron variant signifying that there is a “high possibility” of local transmission in the country.
Earlier, the Department of Health reported 5,434 new cases nationwide which brought active cases to 29,809.
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