MANILA—The Philippines is planning to conduct 30,000 COVID-19 tests by the end of May in efforts to slow down the number of infections.
National Task Force on COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. said in a press briefing Saturday that his group has been accelerating the process of accrediting, proficiency-testing and training of health workers who will operate COVID-19 testing facilities.
Galvez said that on May 15 about 15,000 daily COVID-19 tests will be conducted in the country to curb the virus, in the hopes that a significant decrease in virus cases would prompt the lifting of the enhanced community quarantine in parts of the country.
“Importante ang testing capability kasi this is the only way that we can lift the ECQ, so nakita natin ang strategy ng Vietnam, South Korea, strategy ng Germany na hindi nagkaroon ng matagalang lockdown . . . sa Germany, they’re operating 174,000 tests a day," he said.
Galvez visited three facilities in Zamboanga City that will be opened as COVID-19 testing centers, with about 300 to 500 COVID-19 tests to be conducted there daily.
He said that some 3 million COVID-19 test kits will be purchased by the government, of which 800,000 are polymerase chain reaction test kits that are often used by testing centers because they produce more accurate results than other types of kits.
The country has been ramping up its efforts to expand COVID-19 testing.
As of Saturday, the Philippines has logged 8,928 COVID-19 cases. Of the total, 603 died while 1,124 others recovered, according to the Department of Health.
--Report from RJ Rosalado, ABS-CBN News