MANILA, Philippines – “Ano pa bang hinihintay niyo? (What are you waiting for?) Thousands of deaths?”
Filipinos on Twitter demanded that the Department of Health (DOH) conduct mass testing for the novel coronavirus, as “MASS TESTING NOW” trended on the social media platform on Saturday, March 21.
This comes after DOH stated there was “no need” to conduct mass testing for COVID-19 in the country, despite a steady rise in cases.
In a press conference on Friday, March 20, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire was asked if the Philippines was capable of “aggressive testing.” (READ: WHO says ‘aggressive’ action needed in Southeast Asia to stop virus)
Vergeire said the national government would look into conducting mass testing if the situation calls for it, and if the government has enough resources.
“Kung sakaling dumating ‘yong panahon na we have enough resources, the government can do it, and if it is imperative for government to do it, gagawin po natin ‘yan kung saka-sakali,” she stated.
(In case we reach that point where we have enough resources, the government can do it, and if it is imperative for the government to do it, we will do this if needed.)
This angered many Filipinos online, who demanded mass testing was necessary in order to prevent the further spread of the virus.
As of Saturday, March 21, there are 262 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country. A total of 19 patients died from the disease, and a total of 13 patients have recovered.
Here’s what Filipinos online had to say: