Supreme Court starts COVID-19 rapid testing of officials, employees

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 26 2020 01:37 PM

MANILA - The Supreme Court on Tuesday started COVID-19 rapid testing of officials and employees required to go to work daily, it said in a statement.

The high court said those undergoing rapid tests are among "the skeleton staff or employees who are required to physically report for work during the community quarantine."

The judiciary has been functioning on limited capacity because of movement and distancing guidelines under the COVID-19 quarantine.

The SC said it has set up medical tents in its premises on Padre Faura Street in Manila in coordination with the local government and other agencies. The tests will be made daily "until such time that all SC employees have undergone rapid antibody testing."

Some 20 medical personnel conducting the tests were provided with personal protective equipment.

Justices and court officials underwent the test at the high court's Dignitaries Lounge.

“The rapid testing is the court’s way of complementing the efforts of the government to curb the spread of the pandemic and to flatten the curve,” Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta said.

Peralta said there is a "sufficient number of rapid testing kits" and that most of high court employees would also get tested once the judiciary goes back to full operations.

Aside from the testing tents, the SC also installed disinfection chambers and have a non-contact infrared temperature scanner, an automatic hand sanitizer dispenser, and an ultrasonic atomization system.

Based on the health department's tally Monday, the Philippines has recorded 14,319 cases of the new coronavirus, with 3,323 recoveries and 873 deaths.

Government has been conducting expanded targeted coronavirus testing, covering those with symptoms of the disease, repatriates and those who had contact with them, and those who test positive in rapid antibody tests.