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Duterte wants free COVID-19 testing in gov’t health facilities in 2021

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday ordered the Department of Health (DOH) to study how to provide free coronavirus tests in government-run health facilities.

“If you can give me a figure… Tingnan ko kung may pera at magbili na lang tayo and in all government hospitals or in health centers, mabigay nating libre, free of charge,” he told Health Secretary Francisco Duque III during the weekly televised briefing.

Duterte ordered Duque to target the roll out of free COVID-19 testing in the second quarter of 2021, stressing that “COVID would be around” for a long time.

“Ang importante pala, I realize now, it’s the testing… Kasi mahal, I’m trying to figure out a cheaper way of doing it,” he said.

Over 5.6 million Filipinos have so far been tested for COVID-19, according to data from the DOH.

The Philippines has tallied 441,399 infections with 408,702 recoveries and 8,572 deaths as of Monday afternoon.  — BM, GMA News