MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday, April 13, said the government’s “massive” testing beginning April 14 will cover severe to critical cases and the vulnerable population.
The DOH had mentioned the coverage of the mass testing in the past, but DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire in a press briefing Monday gave more defined guidelines for the conduct of the tests. They include the folowing:
- Patients or health care workers experiencing severe to critical symptoms with history of exposure to a coronavirus patient and travel history.
- Patients or health care workers experiencing mild symptoms with history of travel and contact; and belong to the vulnerable population, such as the elderly, pregnant women, and those with pre-medical conditions like hypertension, cancer, and diabetes.
“As we’ve been trying to explain, this is going to be progressive. If we have enough testing laboratories and testing kits, we can expand the coverage of testing,” she said in Filipino.
Vergeire said that mass testing conducted by local government units should complement those that are initiated by the national government.
In Metro Manila, at least 3 cities have begun or about to begin mass testing: Valenzuela City, Quezon City, and Manila.
The province of Cavite is also set to conduct mass testing, focused on certain sectors.
As of April 11, the DOH said that it had conducted a total of 38,640 coronavirus tests since the first confirmed case in the country in late January. The agency targets to conduct 10,000 coronavirus tests a day by end of April.
As of Monday, the Philippines has 4,932 cases of coronavirus, with 315 deaths and 242 recoveries.
Vergeire also said Monday morning that the coronavirus pandemic in the country might last until January 2021 if no intervention is done. – Rappler.com