Government to rely on private firms to shoulder mass testing, says Roque

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Healthworker was working on covid19 testing

MANILA – Malacañang is leaving the discretion to the private sector to  to conduct the testing for their employees due to the government’s lack of testing capacity.

“As much as possible, we are raising our testing capacity that’s why we’re aiming that we reach 30,000 (a day), but in terms of mass testing like what is being done by Wuhan where they’re testing all 11 million residents, we don’t have a similar program and we’re leaving it to the private sector.” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press briefing.

“We are giving recognition to the initiative of the private sector that they themselves buy rapid antibody test kits to test their employees” He added.

As much as possible, we are raising our testing capacity that’s why we’re aiming that we reach 30,000 (a day), but in terms of mass testing like what is being done by Wuhan where they’re testing all 11 million residents, we don’t have a similar program and we’re leaving it to the private sector.” Presidential Spokesperson said

Calls for mass testing have been circulating on social media since March but Roque explained that  the government is still trying to enhance its current testing capacity by opening up more laboratories and acquiring more rapid antibody test kits.

“In an ideal world, everyone should be tested, but you know first, we’re having a hard time with PCR testing, we only have 30 labs. We want to have at least 90 PCR testing centers; second we’re running out of rapid test kits.”

Currently, Around one million rapid test kits were raised by private sectors who organized Project ARK or Antibody Rapid Test Kits which aims to help the public to a more accesible testing kits. The Philippines currently has 30 licensed laboratories that can process 11,000 tests per day. 83 of 109 labs that applied to become testing centers were at stage 3 of 5 for government’s accreditation.

Read Also: https://www.theasianaffairs.com/philippines/2020/05/18/dof-releases-p16-4-b-to-2-1m-workers/

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