Govt ramps expanded ‘targeted COVID-19 testing’ of 2.2-M Filipinos -Roque
CALOOCAN CITY, May 20 (PIA) — Presidential spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque on Tuesday said government’s current goal is to closely implement the expanded “targeted testing” for COVID-19 to an estimated 1.5 to 2 percent of the population.
During his regular Malacañang media briefing multicast by the Presidential Communications and attached government media, Roque said the expanded testing would cover an estimated 1.6 to 2.2 million Filipinos.
“The goal is to test 1.5 to 2 percent of the total population,” he said, adding the goal is to do 30,000 tests a day by the end of the month.
Roque said the testing initiative of government has been done in conjunction with the private sector. who has been very generous in helping with the COVID-19 response.
“We’re expanding as much as we can. We’re relying on both PCR [polymerase chain reaction] and anti-body testing which private sector and LGUs [local government units] are doing,” he added.
At the same time, the official said “targeted testing” is a better term to describe government’s efforts to assess and curb the spread of COVID-19.
“Perhaps the better term is not ‘mass testing’ but it should be targeted testing because I think it’s physically impossible to test 110 million [estimated population in the Philippines] but we’re aiming to test, also using statistics as a science, 1.5 to 2 percent of our population,” he said.
“What we’re doing is following the footsteps of South Korea and test 1.5%-2% of the population,” he added, saying the Philippines has one of the most stringent testing procedures when it comes to COVID-19, as all overseas Filipino workers are required to undergo PCR testing, not just rapid testing. (PIA NCR)