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Robredo: Rise in COVID-19 cases due to increased community transmission, not expanded testing

The rise in COVID-19 cases is not due to increased testing capacity but rise in community transmission of the virus, Vice President Leni Robredo said Monday.

Robredo, citing Department of Health data, said that the country’s positivity rate is at least 9.84% which was higher than the June 30 figure of 7.06%.

“It is good news that we have already increased our testing capacity. In fact, we have the most number of tests conducted already in absolute numbers. What I am bothered about is that we are attributing our numbers to just our increased testing capacity. This is not exactly accurate,” Robredo said in a statement.

“Look at our positivity rate. Global standard is less than 5%. Let us not content ourselves with just reaching our targeted testing capacity. We should work at lowering our positivity rate to less than 5%,” Robredo added.

In addition, Robredo said that while the country’s testing capacity has increased, the fact remains that the percentage of the Philippines population tested for COVID-19 (1.62%) pales in comparison with less populated nations of Singapore (26.27%), Brunei (6.96%), Malaysia (3.25%), and South Korea (3%).

“Our big numbers are not just a function of increased testing but the fact that community transmission is really bad now,” Robredo added.

The government is eyeing to test two million people by the end of August and over three million by September.

The government was able to test 35,000 samples last July 25, but has yet to reach the same number anew.

The Philippines has recorded 129,913 COVID-19 cases thus far. Of this, 67,675 have recovered while 2,270 died.

The number of active COVID-19 cases is at 59,968. —LDF, GMA News