MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday urged the administration to focus on the country's COVID-19 positivity rate and to conduct more tests after the Philippines ranked 20th among countries with the most number of virus cases.
Robredo said government needs to run more COVID-19 tests to achieve a low positivity rate or the percentage of individuals testing positive for COVID-19.
The country's current virus positivity rate ranges between 8 or 9, Robredo said.
"Maganda na ito, pero malayo pa din sa target. Dapat ang i-target natin, huwag tayong lalampas sa 5. So kahit i-target sana natin na 4. Pero para maabot natin ito, dapat dagdagan natin iyong tests. Dapat dagdagan natin iyong tests, kasi ito talaga iyong kailangan para mapababa iyong positivity rate," she said in her weekly radio show.
(It's good but it's still far from the target, which should not be more than 5. So maybe we can aim for 4. But in order to achieve this, we need to run more tests because it's what we need to lower the positivity rate.)
"Sana iyong mga datos na ito tinitingnan para iyong nakakagawa tayo ng maaayos na targets."
(We hope they look at the data to make good targets.)
The country's COVID-19 testing slowed in the second half of September, Robredo said, citing data from ABS-CBN's Investigative and Research Group.
"May analysis sila na sinasabi nila mas maganda nga iyong datos for September, pero kahit mas maganda iyong datos sa September, ang dami pa ding kailangan i-improve," she said.
The Office of the Vice President is also looking into providing COVID-19 tests for residents returning to their provinces, lamenting Batanes' first 2 cases of the virus.
"Tinitingnan namin kung kaya namin na kami iyong tumulong para ma-RT-PCR sila, ma-swab test sila bago lumarga. Pero wala din kasi sa amin iyong datos eh," she said.
(We are looking into whether we can help to get them RT-PCR or swab tests before they can travel. But we don't have the data.)
"Wala sa amin iyong datos kung sino iyong mga bibiyahe. Pero sana gawan ito ng paraan, para hindi na sana kumakalat."
(We don't have the data on who will travel. We hope this can be resolved to prevent the virus spread.)
Robredo, meantime, lauded Batanes' local government for tracing some 86 contacts of its first virus patient.
"Kapag ganito iyong contact tracing, baka mako-contain natin. Kasi kapag kinontact trace mo, nako-contain mo, naa-isolate mo," she said.
(If our contact tracing is like this, maybe we can contain the virus. Because when you trace contacts, you can contain, isolate them.)
The Philippines as of Saturday reported 319,330 cases of COVID-19, with 255,046 recoveries and 5,678 deaths.