The Philippine government is looking to begin COVID-19 mass testing for persons suspected of having the virus on April 14, the chief implementer of the national action plan against the disease said Thursday.
Secretary Carlito Galvez had a briefing in Camp Aguinaldo after the Research Institute on Tropical Medicine certified several hospitals to run COVID-19 testing.
“On the massive testing for PUIs and PUMs, we are also determined to fast-track the accreditation of substantial laboratories so we can start with the mass testing of the PUIs and PUMs,” Galvez said.
“We expect that by April 14, we should be able to start massive testing,” he added.
The chief said the latest number of confirmed cases – 322- yesterday was a good sign compared to on March 31, which is 538, the highest number of new cases in a day.
“If you’ll see the data, the increase of the new cases has been 322, which is lower than the highest cases that we have last few days ago of 538,” Galvez said.
“This is a good sign that we are gaining the battle despite the many tests that we have right now,” he added.
He also said he was confident that better days are coming because there would be an increase in the number of recoveries since more than 500 infected patients were admitted in the “best hospitals.”
COVID-19 mass testing eyed to start on April 14
Accredited COVID-19 Testing centers
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III announced that the Western Visayas Medical Center received certification to conduct COVID-19 tests, bringing the total number of accredited laboratories in the country to eight:
- Research Institute for Tropical Medicine
- Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center
- San Lazaro Hospital
- Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center
- Southern Philippines Medical Center
- University of the Philippines-National Institute of Health
- Lung Center of the Philippines
- Western Visayas Medical Center
DOH earlier reported there are more than 40 healthcare facilities and laboratories seeking approval for COVID-19 testing.
As of April 3, 2020, 4,726 people have been tested for COVID-19, while a total of 1,275 have tested negative of the pandemic.
The Philippines’ COVID-19 testing centers have conducted 15,337 tests, including retests and validation, as of Monday.
DOH did not approve the calls of the COVID-19 mass testing in March, citing the government was “not yet ready” due shortage of resources.
As of April 3, 2020, there are now 1,014,296 people across the globe who tested positive of COVID-19. The death toll meanwhile reached 52,982, while 208,000 patients recovered.