Thank you, Philippines. You have stepped up your COVID-19 game.
Like other nations, the Philippines is now able to perform 12,000 tests a day, moving closer to its goal of conducting 30,000 tests for the COVID-19 disease in May 30.
The Deputy Chief Implementer of the National Task Forxe COVID-19 and president of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority, Vince Dizon, said that the government is also planning to set up 50 additional laboratories this month. These laboratories are on top of the existing 20 laboratories from the government and private sectors.
In an interview, he said that the Philippines is now at a laboratory capacity of roughly around 12,000 per day.
Recently, we have only been able to test around 7,000 per day, a jump from the 5,000 test in late March to early April this year.
“But again, that’s just capacity. The other thing that needs to be done is to increase our ability to get the specimen from our kababayans (countrymen) on the ground,” he explained.
He said that the laboratories being targeted to be set up this month are already in its last stages of accreditation.
“We have 18,000 to go but I am really confident that with the help of the private sector and the government working together, and the government being a facilitator helping out our labs especially the labs being proposed by the private sector, we can achieve this goal of 30,000-tests-per-day lab capacity by May 30,” he added.
According to Dizon, the government will be opening four mega swabbing centers in Metro Manila and Bulacan. This js to help the country’s capacity for mass testing.
The centers are located at the:
- Philippine Sports Stadium inside the Philippine Arena (North)
- Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City (South)
- Enderun Colleges in Taguig City (East)
- Palacio de Maynila Tent in Roxas Boulevard (West)
However, according to Dizon, more than 20,000 OFWs will be prioritiezed in these centers.
“If they test positive, they have to continue undergoing quarantine, if they are negative, they will be given a certificate attesting that they are already negative and then they can now go home to their places of residence and undergo home quarantine,” he said.
Dizon also noted that the goal of reaching its target testing capacity by the end of May is not just a government effort.
“This is not just a government effort. This is a whole-of-nation effort wherein both the government and private sector must come together to reach our goal of 30,000 tests a day,” he said.