Philippine COVID-19 testing has 15,000 backlog: gov't


Posted at Apr 14 2020 09:04 AM | Updated as of Apr 14 2020 09:48 AM

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MANILA - The Philippines needs to test about 15,000 people for possible COVID-19 infection, nearly a month into the lockdown of millions in its most populous island, a leader of the country's pandemic plan said Tuesday.

Of the 15,000 potential COVID-19 "suspects", about 5,000 to 8,000 are in Metro Manila, said COVID-19 Response Chief Implementor Carlito Galvez Jr. said.

The health department defines a COVID-19 "suspect" as someone who has symptoms of the respiratory disease and travel or residence in a hotspot of the disease or exposure to a confirmed or probable carrier.

The country has 102,000 test kits and the government plans to buy some 1 million more units, said Galvez.    

The Philippines as of Monday confirmed 4,932 cases of COVID-19, with 315 deaths and 242 patients who recovered.

The lockdown on Luzon, home to half of the country's 100 million people was extended for 18 days until April 30 to arrest the pandemic's spread.