Philippines tests 800,000 for coronavirus since March


Posted at Jul 07 2020 11:24 AM

A police officer undergoes coronavirus testing at the Dagupan City Astrodome on Thursday. Police officers across the country are among frontliners in the battle against COVID-19, enforcing quarantine protocols and manning checkpoints. Jojo Riñoza, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — Some 800,000 people have been screened for the novel coronavirus so far, the health department said Tuesday, almost 4 months into varying degrees of lockdowns to contain the pandemic. 

The Philippines has 75 licensed laboratories that can run an average of 17,500 tests per day, with a peak of 19,000 tests last week, said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire. 

The Philippines aims to screen 1 million individuals or about 1 percent of its population this month. 

"We now have already tested about 800,000 plus individuals," Vergeire told ANC. 

The health department on Tuesday confirmed a record-high jump in "fresh cases" or those whose results were released in the last 3 days, which brought the total tally to 46,333. 

Local cases of the COVID-19 may surpass the 100,000-mark by the end of August, an expert from the University of the Philippines said. 

Watch Vergeire's full interview here.