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DOH to test healthcare workers for COVID-19 even with mild symptoms

The Department of Health (DOH) announced on Tuesday that it has revised its policy for COVID-19 testing to include healthcare workers after receiving reports that frontliners were being denied tests by medical facilities.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said healthcare workers showing COVID-19 symptoms can now be considered persons under investigation.

“No’ng isang araw po, may tumawag sa amin na mga healthcare workers na meron na po silang mga sintomas at sila po ay exposed ngunit ayaw pa rin po ng ating healthcare facilities na sila po ay i-test,” she said at a virtual press briefing.

“So, nakikiusap po kami sa inyong lahat ngayon, pangalagaan po natin ang healthcare workers. Kasama na po sila ngayon sa ating protocol kung sino-sino ang mga puwede nating itest.”

The department has been expanding the country’s COVID-19 testing capacity by certifying more laboratories.

Last week, several sub-national laboratories nationwide received certification to conduct independent COVID-19 testing from the national reference laboratory Research Institute for Tropical Medicine. 

The DOH said over 40 more hospitals and laboratories are seeking certification. 

The Philippines has recorded over 2,000 COVID-19 cases with 88 deaths and 49 recoveries as of Tuesday afternoon. —LDF, GMA News