Amid reports of some politicians having themselves tested for COVID-19 despite the limited number of test kits in the country, the Department of Health on Monday denied giving VIP treatment to prominent and influential individuals and their families.
The DOH in a statement said it only gave courtesy “officials holding positions of national security and public health.”
The DOH said it processed tests on a “first-in, first-out” basis.
Netizens registered their protests online against asymptomatic politicians who were tested for COVID-19 despite the limited number of test kits in the country.
“The DOH assures the public that there is no policy for VIP treatment and that all specimens are being processed on a first-in, first-out basis. With courtesy accorded to officials holding positions of national security and public health,” the DOH said in a statement.
Under the department’s March 16 protocols, only the following are eligible for COVID-19 testing:
- Persons under investigation (PUI) with mild symptoms who are elderly, with underlying condition, or immunocompromised; and
- Admitted PUIs in severe and critical condition
“We are hopeful that with the arrival of 100,000 testing kits and accreditation of additional sub-national laboratories and dedicated COVID-19 referral hospitals, more cases will be detected and appropriately managed,” the DOH said.
The department’s online COVID-19 tracker shows that they have so far conducted 1,516 tests.
The Philippines has 462 cases of COVID-19 and 33 fatalities due to the disease as of Monday afternoon. -NB, GMA News