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Philippines now conducts over 4,000 COVID-19 tests daily, says task force

The Philippines now conducts over 4,000 tests for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) daily as the government moves to meet its target testing capacity of 8,000 to 10,000 by the end of the month.

National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 spokesman Restituto Padilla announced Thursday that the daily cumulative testing count of the 16 accredited laboratories nationwide is now 4,286.

“Nag-improve na ang kapasidad ng ating mga testing facilities na mag-process ng mga COVID-19 samples… Dahil dito, ay mayroon na tayong kakayahan na mag-test ng mas marami pang indibidwal sa isang araw,” he said at a virtual press briefing.

The country’s daily testing capacity ranged from 900 to 1,200 at the start of the month, according to the Department of Health (DOH). 

The department earlier said its goal was to test over 3,000 people by Tuesday, April 14, the start of the widespread testing of suspected COVID-19 cases. 

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday also ordered the purchase of 900,000 polymerase chain reaction testing kits and two million rapid test kits on top of other equipment. 

“Ito po ang pinaka-importanteng requirement upang maipatupad natin ang targeted and expanded testing for suspected and probable COVID-19 carriers. Kinakailangang magawa natin ito sa lalong madaling panahon nang sa ganoon, patuloy nating ma-isolate ang mga may sakit at nagdadala ng COVID-19,” Padilla said.

Earlier on Thursday, the DOH reported that 42,215 individual COVID-19 tests had been conducted as of Wednesday night, 6,188 of which turned out positive while 35,985 were negative.

The Philippines has so far recorded 5,660 confirmed cases with 435 recoveries and 362 deaths. —LDF, GMA News