MANILA — The number of COVID-19 tests conducted daily in the Philippines has finally reached the 23,000-mark and is now averaging nearly 19,500, the Department of Health said Thursday.
“Ang average number of tests na ginawa sa nakalipas na pitong araw ay nasa 19,459 tests,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during Thursday’s televised briefing.
(The average number of tests conducted in the last 7 days is at 19,459 tests.)
“Bukod po dito, noong July 7 po ay nakapag-record tayo ng highest number of tests conducted in a single day kung saan nakapagsagawa po tayo ng 23,104 tests in a day,” she added.
(Besides this, last July 7, we recorded the highest number of tests conducted in a single day where we were able to run 23,104 tests that day.)
Before July, the country has struggled to reach 20,000 daily tests a day.
Despite testing capacity reaching more than 50,000 daily, accredited laboratories were able to do an average of only 14,000 tests by the end of June due to operational issues, including damaged equipment and limited manpower.
This has prevented the country from conducting mass testing or fully implementing its expanded testing protocol.
As of July 7, Philippine laboratories have been able to conduct 889,066 tests. However, this is still below the target of around 1 to 2 percent of the population or a total of 2 million Filipinos.
As of Thursday, the Philippines has 83 accredited laboratories, 62 of them using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing and 21 using GeneXpert machines.
Vergeire said the additional laboratories are Qualimed Health Delivery System - San Jose Del Monte, Parkway Diagnostics, and Philippine Airport Diagnostics.