MANILA— President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday directed the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to set a price ceiling on tests for COVID-19, which some of his Cabinet members have called for following reports of overpricing.
Under Executive Order No. 118, the DOH and DTI should determine and formulate a price range for COVID-19 test kits which will be used in hospitals, health establishments, facilities, and laboratories.
The EO also stated that the price cap will also form part of the standards and requirements for the licensing and accreditation of hospitals, laboratories, and health establishments as COVID-19 centers.
Both the tourism and health departments have called for a price cap on swab tests, as COVID-19 cases continued to be reported while authorities sought to reopen the pandemic-battered economy, allowing travel to tourist spots with a requisite negative coronavirus test.
The DOH recorded 1,772 new coronavirus infections on Tuesday, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 387,161.
New COVID-19 cases in the Philippines increased by fewer than 3,000 in the last 3 weeks, with experts and health officials noting a decline in the infection rate.
More details to follow.
-- With a report from Reuters