The Philippines already has eight health facilities capable of conducting COVID-19 tests, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Friday.
The eight health facilities are the following:
- Research Institute for Tropical Medicine
- Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center
- San Lazaro Hospital
- Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center
- Southern Philippines Medical Center
- University of the Philippines-National Institutes of Health
- Western Visayas Medical Center
- Lung Center of the Philippines
“At this point, we cannot overemphasize how important it is for our health professionals and workers to properly identify and treat not just those who have been infected, but potential carriers of the virus as well,” Nograles said in a virtual press conference.
At a later press briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said symptomatic persons will be prioritized in the testing.
“Ang mass testing po na sinasabi natin ay hindi lahat ng tao sa ating bansa. Ito po ay magkakaroon din ng protocol. Kung sakaling itutuloy nga po ito, 'yung mga may sintomas ang uunahin natin na i-test natin,” Vergeire said in a virtual press briefing Friday.
“Kung sakaling magpositibo, ilalagay natin sa community quarantine facility. That was the plan and that is the plan,” she added.
The Philippines has so far recorded 2,633 COVID-19 cases with a total of 107 fatalities and 51 recoveries.
Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr., the chief implementer of the national action policy against COVID-19, announced on Thursday that the government will begin mass testing of suspected cases on April 14. — RSJ, GMA News