Philippines finally meets April 30 goal of 8,000 COVID-19 tests daily —DOHBy JULIA MARI ORNEDO,GMA News
The Philippines finally achieved its goal of conducting 8,000 tests for COVID-19 a day on Sunday, 10 days after the target date it set for the milestone.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire reported on Monday that the country’s accredited laboratories conducted 8,637 tests on Sunday, a leap from 7,215 the day before.
These figures do not include data from three laboratories that had not yet reported to the Department of Health (DOH).
Vergeire also said that 158,176 people had been tested for COVID-19 as of Sunday, 90 percent of whom tested negative while 10 percent were positive.
April 30 goal
At the start of April, the DOH said it was looking to conduct 8,000 to 10,000 COVID-19 tests daily by the end of the month.
A day before April 30, however, Vergeire said the country would not be able to meet that goal.
She explained that one of the factors that delayed the expansion of testing capacity was the temporary scale-down of operations at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine after over 40 staff tested positive for COVID-19.
May 30 goal
The government’s COVID-19 task force is now eyeing 30,000 tests per day by the end of May with the launch of four mega swabbing centers.
Over the weekend, a laboratory at the Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital, seen to conduct 3,000 tests daily within a month, also received certification from the DOH.
The Philippines so far has 26 COVID-19 testing centers with 90 others undergoing the laboratory accreditation process.
The Asian Development Bank, which partnered with the DOH for the J.B. Lingad laboratory, also announced a $125-million project that seeks to improve the Philippines’ COVID-19 response.
Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to soon announce the fate of the enhanced community quarantine over Metro Manila and other high-risk areas. — BM, GMA News