Over 50,000 people tested for COVID-19 in PH as gov't ramps up testing

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 21 2020 09:36 PM

MANILA - More than 50,000 people have been tested for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the Philippines, a government official said Tuesday.

Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementer at the National Task Force (NTF) on COVID-19, said in a press briefing that 52,837 people in the country have been tested.

"Inaasahan po natin na mas dadami pa ang bilang na ito sa pagtatapos ng accreditation ng iba pang mga testing laboratories nationwide," Galvez said.

(We are expecting the number of tests will grow after more testing laboratories will be accredited.)

Based on the Department of Health tracker, 7,166 of the individuals tested were found positive for the disease, 45,626 are negative, 28 are equivocal (either positive or negative and needs a re-test), and 17 are classified as invalid.

Galvez said around 900,000 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test kits and 2 million rapid testing kits are being procured by the government.

"Hopefully, within the week, the first batch of these testing kits will arrive," he said.

Home to more than 100 million people, the Philippines recorded 140 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing its total number of infections to 6,599.

The Department of Health logged 9 new deaths, raising the total number of fatalities to 437.

Forty-one newly recovered patients were also reported, bringing the total recoveries to 654.

The country started its localized and targeted testings in areas hit by the disease on April 14.