Netizens criticized politicians for skipping protocols on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing despite the limited number of test kits available in the country.
Twitter users created the hashtag #MassTestingNowPH and #CheckYourPrivilege amid reports of several politicians and government officials being tested for the disease despite not being eligible for testing based on the Department of Health’s (DOH) algorithm for triage.
According to the DOH, only persons under investigation in severe to critical condition must undergo testing for COVID-19.
Asymptomatic patients with exposure history, meanwhile, should undergo a 14-day home quarantine.
They are considered persons under monitoring but are not recommended to undergo testing unless they start manifesting symptoms and have been assessed to be high-risk due to other underlying diseases and old age.
Former Bayan Muna congressman Teddy Casino also questioned the use of the COVID-19 test when a Canadian official opted not to be tested as he did not exhibit symptoms.
With the tweet he posted a video of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau whose wife tested positive for the virus.
Former senatorial candidate Chel Diokno, on Twitter, opined, "Sa mga politiko, huwag na natin dagdagan ang mabigat na trabaho ng health frontliners natin. Sa panahong ito, unahin ang nangangailangan."
Di sana ito totoo. Sa mga pulitiko, huwag natin dagdagan ang mabigat nang trabaho ng health frontliners natin. Sa panahong ito, unahin ang nangangailangan. pic.twitter.com/AIAk7oZl3P— Chel Diokno (@ChelDiokno) March 18, 2020
Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla admitted that he had himself tested for COVID-19 despite DOH protocols that he “may have skipped.”
"I take full responsibility," he said, adding that "There's a protocol and triage algorithm set by DOH."
I take full responsibility. There’s a protocal and triage algorithm set by DOH. In the spirit of transparency... pic.twitter.com/bRwso4WrIb— Jonvic Remulla (@jonvicremulla) March 18, 2020
Last week, several senators deemed it best to isolate themselves after learning that a resource person who attended a Senate hearing on March 5 turned out to be infected with COVID-19.
Senators Sherwin Gatchalian and Nancy Binay who were present at the said hearing tested negative for the virus.
Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, however, was diagnosed with COVID-19. He announced it on Monday night and said that he was not manifesting any symptoms.
On Tuesday, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Senators Pia Cayetano, Panfilo Lacson, Imee Marcos, Grace Poe, Ramon Revilla Jr., and Francis Tolentino also submitted samples to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine.
Senator Richard Gordon supposedly got tested too, according to his staff.
Senators Francis Pangilinan and Risa Hontiveros have opted not to get tested for COVID-19 because they were not exhibiting any symptoms.
Prior to that, Senator Bong Go has also undergone testing with President Rodrigo Duterte. Some Cabinet members were also tested.
Based on the health department's online COVID-19 tracker, about 1,030 tests were conducted, so far. -- BAP/MDM, GMA News